Private Equity Firms Are Big Winners In Taxpayer Funded Loan Program Susan Collins Promised Was Designed To Aid Small Business

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New Report Reveals Private Equity Firms Have Exploited Lax Rules and Lack of Oversight to Siphon Billions From the Paycheck Protection Program 
Senator Collins is Now Ranked Second to Mitch McConnell for Most Funds Raised from Private Equity Firms

Portland, MAINE — A recent report by The Daily Beast reveals that companies backed by private equity firms exploited vague rules and lax oversight written into the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to obtain billions in taxpayer-funded, forgivable loans. 

Maine Senator Susan Collins, who has taken credit for the PPP, promised the bill was designed to help small businesses in need — but analysis of Federal Election Commission filings shows that Senator Collins is currently ranked second to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for most funds raised from private equity firms. 

“Susan Collins promised the PPP was designed to help Maine small businesses that employ everyday Mainers, but the reality is that it seems she wrote this bill to benefit the private equity firms that are funding her campaign,” said Willy Ritch, Executive Director of 16 Counties Coalition. “This is yet another example of Susan Collins taking her cues from Mitch McConnell and corporate special interests, not the people of Maine.” 

From the article, “As 2020 began, the relatively secretive private equity industry—helmed by some of the U.S.’s wealthiest executives and known for laying off workers at companies they take over—was sitting on a record-shattering $1.5 trillion that was waiting to be invested. While it appears that some of the largest and most well-known private equity firms steered clear of the small business loans, hundreds of equity-backed companies are benefiting from the bailout bonanza.”

“Experts have said the program is ripe for fraud, whether the business getting the loan is backed by private equity or not. ‘If an entity can fog a mirror, they can get the money. That presents a cornucopia of likely fraudulent activity,’ said Neil Barofsky, the former inspector general who oversaw the Wall Street bailout during the Great Recession, in previous remarks to [the Project On Government Oversight].”

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The 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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