The administration of Donald Trump surrendered to public pressure and sworn to provide additional details about which small businesses received loans from a 600 billion-plus-dollar COVID-19 aid program. However, the regulators of the government demanded even more transparency to get a precise picture, who received a loan and who left behind.
On Friday, the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department said under pressure from government watchdogs and Democratic legislators that they would reveal the names of the owners of the small businesses who received $150,000 or further in forgivable loans. The governmental agencies will disclose the general figure these businesses received, their demographic information, addresses, and the exact number of jobs they helped protect.
The Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration said Friday they would disclose the names of small business owners who received $150,000 or more in forgivable loans. https://t.co/WVxTAOquJ8
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) June 21, 2020
However, for loans below $150,000, the loan giving agencies will not name the beneficiaries, unveiling only summary information broken down by industry, demographics, and zip code. According to experts, it might paint a misleading or incomplete picture. Beneficiaries of smaller business loans may be a part of a higher subsidiary that may be hidden, and unclear what percentage of loans went to minority-owned businesses.
Administration’s new approach on disclosure
The executive director of the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight, Danielle Brian, said that the new approach of the administration on revelation termed as a big deal as compared to where the administration was, but it is not sufficient that this amount is going to the right people, who genuinely need it.
Spokespeople of the Treasury Department did not comment on the request to respond to the matter. Though Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, previously showed his concern about the privacy of business owners. The Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who leads the Senate Small Business Committee, said on Friday that the Treasury Department’s plan to reveal additional information strikes the right balance.
As of Friday, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) said that it handled 4.6 million loans having worth around $512 billion. According to the SBA, almost seventy-five percent of the amount approved up till now that gone to businesses bowering over $150,000. In early April, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) began and ran out of funds at the end of the same month. The administration can forgive the loan if businesses use the loan fund to keep employees on employment or rehire the dismiss workers.
Hundreds of the publicly traded firms received these loans instead of their probable ability to borrow funds elsewhere, and after ab uproar, some companies said they would return. The coronavirus pandemic caused a deep decline, and the unemployment rate of the United States hit above thirteen percent after tumbling slightly last month.