How Susan Collins Has Changed: Her Paycheck Protection Program Benefits Big Corporations, Not Maine Small Business

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Senator Susan Collins promised the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) she authored was designed to aid small businesses in need. But the reality is that loopholes and lax oversight written into the bill allowed the country’s biggest corporations and richest banks to reap billions in taxpayer-funded grants and fees at the expense of Maine small businesses – and left the program vulnerable to fraud and abuse.  

Five ways the PPP has failed to live up to Collins’ promises:  

1.The “Collins loophole” included in the bill, as a favor to a former Collins staffer-turned-lobbyist, allowed big corporations to siphon billions from the program meant to aid small businesses.
Bangor Daily News: “Susan Collins wrote exception that let hotel chains get coronavirus aid

2.One of Collins’ biggest donors, Hawaiian defense contractor Martin Kao, was able to obtain millions in allegedly fraudulent PPP loans.Maine Beacon: “Collins mega-donor arrested for defrauding PPP, bragged about connection to senator”

3.Big banks are raking in billions in taxpayer-funded PPP loan-servicing fees.
Wall Street Journal: Banks Could Get $24 Billion in Fees From PPP Loans

4.Thanks to inadequate reporting requirements and a lack of transparency written into the bill, the actual impact of the PPP is unknown. LA Times: PPP loan data errors raise questions about relief

5. Minority- and women-owned businesses were largely shut out of access to PPP loans. Marketplace: Feds’ guidance hurt minority-owned businesses’ PPP chances, report says

Photo by Ken Lane on Creative Commons

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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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