Thousands of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)loans meant for small businesses crushed down by the coronavirus pandemic were awarded improperly to firms that already had received a PPP loan and were prevented from doing business with the federal government. A House oversight committee discovered this finding in a report released last month.
The Select Subcommittee report on the Coronavirus Crisis examined the Trump administration’s dissemination of more than 5.2 million PPP loans totaling $525 billion since April. And the results indicated that:
- Some 10,000 loans totaling more than $1 billion went to companies that received more than one PPP loan, which was a violation of the program.
- More than 600 loans totaling about $96 million were provided to firms that have been prohibited from doing business with the government.
- This firm should have been excluded because they were “debarred or suspended” from receiving federal contracts.
- More than 350 loans totaling $195 million have been awarded to businesses that have been flagged for “significant performance and integrity issues.”
- More than 11,000 loans totaling about $3 billion were given to companies that did not include complete information from applicants.
The program, which helped keep more than 5 million small businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, expired Aug. 8 with no clear consensus about its future. The PPP fund has about $140 billion left from the roughly $660 billion Congress provided.
Although there has been discussion on Capitol Hill to reform the PPP program, talks stalled because of a broader impasse between the White House and those in Congress. The dilemma comes over each side’s belief on how another round of stimulus relief should occur and how much. Senators are in discussions to re-vamp the PPP program so that smaller businesses could apply for a second loan. But Republicans are saying those with up to 300 workers should be eligible and Democrats proposing a cap of 100 employees.
Many businesses had credited the program with keeping them alive when much of the economy closed in the spring. But the need for such assistance has been alleviated somewhat by many state and local governments’ decisions to ease social distancing restrictions.