Companies Led By Trump Donors Benefitted Early From Federal PPP Loans
Major donors to President Donald Trump‘s campaign were among the first to be approved for business loans in early April, while many businesses had to wait more than a month for the administration to clarify and codify terms of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with lending banks.
According to an Associated Press analysis of federal data, as much as $273 million in federal coronavirus aid was awarded to over 100 companies owned or operated by campaign donors.
PPP was designed to support small businesses during the pandemic and encourage them to keep employees on payroll. Small businesses could take out low-interest loans that would be forgiven if the money went to payroll, rent and similar expenses.
CNBC listed three prominent companies led by Trump supporters that received PPP funds.
For example, the real estate firm G.H. Palmer Associates was approved for a loan worth $350,000 to $1 million.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Geoffrey Palmer gave at least $4 million to pro-Trump super PAC America First Action. He also served on Trump’s coronavirus business advisory council.
And Michael Dezer, head of real estate company Dezer Development whose “real estate portfolio includes six-Trump branded towers,” received $350,000 and $1 million from PPP.
The coal mining company White Stallion Energy, owned by Steven Chancellor, was granted between $5 million and $10 million in PPP loans. Chancellor gave $175,000 to Trump’s 2016 campaign committee and reportedly met with former EPA chief Scott Pruitt to discuss relaxing a pollution law.
The AP analysis found that the Trump supporters benefiting from PPP contributed a total of at least $11.1 million since May 2015 to the president’s campaign, with each donor giving at least $20,000.