- The Trump administration on Monday released a list of the companies that received the largest sums of money distributed through the Paycheck Protection Program, which was set up to combat the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A number of tech companies and Silicon Valley venture firms were listed among the recipients, including Andreessen Horowitz, the Burning Man festival, Bird, Eat Club, and Enjoy.
- The PPP loans are meant to enable businesses to continue paying staff even as their revenue takes a hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- However, some companies said Monday that they were mistakenly listed as PPP recipients and never applied for or received a loan.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Trump administration has released new information on the businesses that received federal loans to withstand the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic – and several Silicon Valley companies are listed among the recipients.
But some companies have disputed the accuracy of the data provided by the Small Business Administration, the federal agency overseeing the loans. Bird told Business Insider that it was “erroneously listed,” adding that it “did not apply for nor did we receive a PPP Loan.” Index Ventures, a venture-capital firm listed as a loan recipient, said in a tweet that it never received a loan.
The SBA did not immediately comment on specific companies’ claims that they never sent loan applications or received money but were listed in Monday’s disclosure. A senior SBA official told Business Insider that the data may include some loan recipients who later returned their loans if the banks administering the loans did not cancel the applications.
Federal officials said the loans, which totaled $US521 billion, supported over 51 million jobs nationwide. The biggest industry to benefit from the loans was healthcare, which received 12.9% of the money, while 12.7% went to businesses classified as “professional and technical services,” according to the disclosure.
Some criticised the SBA – which administers the loans – for providing money to large, well-funded companies. More than $US1 billion of the loans went to publicly traded companies, The Washington Post reported in May.
Here are some of the notable tech companies and venture-capital firms that the SBA said were awarded loans, including some that said they didn’t apply for loans or were erroneously listed. The full data is available on the Treasury Department’s website. The documents disclose the range, not the specific amount, of the loan awarded, as well as the number of employees listed on each company’s application.
The SBA said the e-scooter startup Bird received between $US5 million and $US10 million to retain 341 jobs, but Bird said it never applied for or received any loan.
Bird told Business Insider that it was “erroneously listed.”
“Bird was erroneously listed as a company that filed for a PPP Loan. We did not officially apply for nor did we receive a PPP Loan. We decided as a company not to file an application as we did not want to divert critical funding from small and local businesses,” the spokesperson said.
An SBA spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a tweet, Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden said Citibank administered Bird’s loan application but that the company decided to cancel it before it was submitted.
It looks like Citi started an application while they waited for our decision on whether to formally apply. We discussed internally and told Citi we didn't want to apply via email on April 23rd. They confirmed that the temp app. was cancelled that evening and never submitted.
— Travis VanderZanden (@travisv) July 6, 2020
A Citibank spokesperson confirmed that the bank did not fund a PPP loan for Bird.
The venture-capital firm Index Ventures is listed as receiving $US2 million to $US5 million in PPP loans, but the firm denied that it applied for the money.
Index Ventures said in a tweet that it was listed erroneously. An SBA spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a firm that hosts donor-advised accounts such as charitable funds, received between $US2 million and $US5 million in PPP loans, according to the filing.
The catering startup Eat Club was awarded between $US5 million and $US10 million to retain 500 jobs, the filing said.
The e-commerce startup Enjoy received between $US5 million and $US10 million to retain 500 jobs, according to the data.
The legendary Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz received between $US350,000 and $US1 million for 24 jobs, the filing said.
A spokesperson for Andreessen Horowitz disputed the firm’s inclusion on the PPP recipient list and said it had not received a loan.
The data firm Wave Computing was approved for a $US2 million to $US5 million loan to protect 29 jobs, according to SBA data.
The Burning Man festival received between $US2 million and $US5 million for an undisclosed number of jobs, the filing said.
Kanye West’s Yeezy brand received between $US2 million and $US5 million to save 160 jobs, according to the data.
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