Trump Admin. To Release Info On Large PPP Loan Recipients

By Mike LaSusa
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Law360 (June 19, 2020, 10:42 PM EDT) -- The Trump administration plans to make public the names and other information about businesses that receive more than $150,000 in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration said Friday.

The move represents a reversal from the posture the White House took the week prior, when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the Senate Small Business Committee that the administration considered information about PPP borrowers "proprietary" and "confidential."

"We are striking the appropriate balance of providing public transparency, while protecting the payroll and personal income information of small businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors," Mnuchin said in a statement Friday.

SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza echoed Mnuchin's comments.

"We value transparency and our fiduciary responsibility to ensure American taxpayer funds are used appropriately," Carranza said. "This responsibility goes together with the steps we are now taking to provide needed public information in step with protecting entrepreneurs' personally identifiable information associated with their business loan."

The SBA said it will publish the business names, addresses, demographic data, jobs supported and loan amounts, among other information, for borrowers receiving loans of $150,000 up to the maximum $10 million, which the agency says account for about three-quarters of the total loan dollars approved. Information on borrowers of loans below $150,000 will be released in aggregated format, the agency said.

Earlier in the week, the Treasury Department and the SBA released a simplified version of the application that small businesses must file to receive forgiveness on their PPP loans, a move that came amid calls to lighten the paperwork burden facing borrowers.

The agencies' new "EZ" loan forgiveness application, unveiled Wednesday, clocks in at just three pages and can be used by self-employed borrowers and businesses that didn't significantly cut worker wages or salaries after taking out loans from the $660 billion coronavirus relief program.

The previous week, key Senate Democrats promised legislation that would let the smallest small businesses get a second round of forgivable loans through the PPP, which would be a major expansion of the bipartisan pandemic relief plan that so far has distributed over $500 billion.

The Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program Act would authorize another round of funding for companies with fewer than 100 workers that saw revenue drop by at least half due to the COVID-19 pandemic and also expect to exhaust their initial PPP loans.

--Additional reporting by Jon Hill and Andrew Kragie. Editing by Breda Lund.

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