SBA: List of Companies Receiving Coronavirus Relief Money Likely Not to be Released

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A spokesperson for the US Small Business Administration told KXAN on Tuesday that the list of companies receiving loans under the Paycheck Prevention Program would likely not be made public.

Lawmakers have called for more transparency after reports that the first round of loans went to large companies rather than small businesses.

Congress made an additional $ 310 billion available to small businesses, and $ 175 billion of that money was approved within a week. Rules were also created ahead of the second wave of payments to give small businesses a better chance of getting the coronavirus relief money.

“Right now, I can confidently say that the agency is processing loans much faster,” said David Elizondo, deputy district director of the SBA’s office in San Antonio.

With seven employees, the Violet Crown Clubhouse in Crestview is pretty much the smallest business possible.

Co-owner Mike Lavigne says he’s always dreamed of owning an arcade.

“Ms. Pac-Man is my jam, I would say,” Lavigne said, showing us around the converted pharmacy that hasn’t been open since March. The business has a nostalgic vibe with many of the same 1950s memorabilia. .

The challenges many local business owners face during the coronavirus economy are not unique to Lavigne.

“The vendors that we use, I know our ice cream supplier is suffering,” he said.

He tells KXAN that he applied for a PPP loan, but missed the first wave of payments.

For the past two weeks, he’s been back and forth with Chase Bank after a frustrating online experience. He then told the bank on Monday that he was speaking with KXAN.

“I got funded about 10 minutes later so it’s lucky,” he said.

He will use the modest loan of $ 7,500 to pay his employees, pay the rent and keep the lights on.

Companies have had different experiences, depending on who you are talking to.

Martin Leggett is the CEO of New Canvassing Experience, which raises funds for nonprofits.

He told us he had a trusted banker in Chase who helped him navigate the process and secure a loan in the first round, but even it wasn’t smooth down the road.

“At first, the site didn’t work,” he said. “But I had someone I could call to figure out what was really going on.”

Many small business owners have experienced confusion and frustration while navigating the PPP loan process. A number of local businesses tell KXAN that they are still waiting for their payments to stay afloat.

Lavigne said he quickly realized he didn’t have the financial acumen or the connections of large financial institutions.

“It’s just me and my laptop over there,” he laughed.

Lawmakers are calling for the full list of businesses that have received loans include a full picture of who gets the money and who gets left out.

Even though the Small Business Administration owns these records, Elizondo says they likely won’t be released, adding that this has not been the norm in previous disasters.

“We will probably stick to the county news,” he said in an interview with KXAN.

He refers to a list of the number of businesses by state and county, which he says will be released after all payments are made.

When asked why the full list of companies would not be released, Elizondo cited the “number of loans approved, the number of loans still being processed.”

Banks react

KXAN has contacted some of the biggest banks in the country for this story.

“We continue to process and submit requests at a good pace to help as many customers as possible,” said a spokesperson for Chase Bank.

Chase announced this week that it has received approval for an additional 211,000 loans in the second round of PPP loan repayments, for a total of around $ 15 billion.

In Texas, that includes 27,400 businesses that get an average loan of $ 120,000.

“The vast majority of loans that Chase submitted to the SBA were funded last week,” the spokesperson added. “No company or customer segment has been prioritized over another. “

Wells Fargo told KXAN it did not have specific numbers on loan repayments in Texas, but had submitted more than 100,000 claims to the SBA as of April 27.

A spokesperson for the bank said 75% of requests sent to the federal government came from companies with less than 10 employees and 90% from companies with less than 25 employees.

Bank of America did not respond to questions from KXAN on Tuesday afternoon.

About Harold Shirley

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