Four of the Top-Five PPP Lenders Contributed to Senator Susan Collins’ Campaign While Raking in Millions from Taxpayer-Funded PPP Loan Fees
Portland, MAINE — A new report from Bloomberg reveals that four of the top-five originators of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans — JP Morgan, Bank of America, TD Bank, and Wells Fargo — donated thousands to Maine Senator Susan Collins’s campaign while profiting from millions in taxpayer-funded fees thanks to Collins’ legislation that relies on private banks to disburse funds in return for fees paid by taxpayers.
According to the Bloomberg report, “JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Truist Financial Corp., PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. were the top five PPP lenders by volume, arranging a combined $91 billion as of June 30, SBA figures show. JPMorgan could make $864 million in related fees…”
“Susan Collins claimed the PPP was designed to aid Maine small businesses but really it was just a way for her to reward her corporate donors,” said Willy Ritch,executive director of the 16 Counties Coalition. “It seems based on the results, that Susan Collins designed this program to funnel hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars to some of America’s biggest banks that are funding her campaign, while real small businesses are left struggling.”
Unlike similar disaster-relief loan programs, PPP loans are not made directly by the government lenders. Instead, as designed by Collins, the PPP legislation was written so that private banks, including some of the country’s biggest banks would originate the loans — and receive taxpayer-funded fees in return. Data recently released by the Treasury Department revealed that many of the loans made by these big banks went to big corporations instead of the small businesses Collins promised the PPP was designed to help. This reliance on private lenders could net America’s biggest banks billions in profits from PPP fees, funded by American taxpayers.
Meanwhile, here in Maine, local restaurants struggled to take advantage of PPP loans. While one out of four unemployment claims in Maine came from someone who lost their job in the hospitality industry, less than ten percent of PPP loans went to those businesses.
The original program was supposed to only benefit small businesses–with less than 500 employees. But Senator Collins publicly admitted that she inserted a loophole into the law to allow big corporations with nationwide chains to collect millions of dollars in PPP loans.
SBA DATA SHOWS HOW BIG CHAINS EXPLOITED THE COLLINS LOOPHOLE TO SNAP UP LOANS INTENDED FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
While Big Corporations and Private Equity Funds Collected PPP Checks, Maine Restaurants Struggled to Take Advantage of Program
Portland, MAINE — New data released by the Treasury Department yesterday revealed that giant restaurant chains like T.G.I. Fridays and Ruby Tuesday cashed in on the “Collins Loophole” to snap up Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that were supposed to help small businesses keep their doors open. Meanwhile, here in Maine, local restaurants struggled to take advantage of the program. While one out of four unemployment claims in Maine came from someone who lost their job in the hospitality industry, less than ten percent of PPP loans went to those businesses.
The original program was supposed to only benefit small businesses—with less than 500 employees. But Senator Collins publicly admitted that she inserted a loophole into the law to allow big corporations with nationwide chains to collect millions of dollars in PPP loans.
“Susan Collins claims she is working for Maine small businesses but the truth is that big corporations, lobbyists, private equity funds and President Trump’s friends and associates were the ones who scooped up the biggest checks,” said Willy Ritch,executive director of the 16 Counties Coalition. “Meanwhile the real small businesses—the ones that were hit the hardest here in Maine—haven’t gotten the help they needed.”
In addition to big corporations, the new SBA data involved that members of the Trump Administration are associated with companies that got big PPP checks. A shipping company belonging to the family Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao—who is also married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—got a six-figure check. And a company connected to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos got at least $6 million in PPP funds.
# # #About the 16 Counties CoalitionThe 16 Counties Coalition is a year-long grassroots advocacy campaign aimed at amplifying the voices of families and working Mainers and encouraging Senator Susan Collins to vote in favor of the people she was elected to represent and defend. The campaign will mobilize members through small- and large-scale events, through digital action, and paid television, radio, and digital ads.
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