WASHINGTON, D.C. – The latest Securities and Exchange Commission filings show 14 additional publicly traded companies secured over $8.3 million in SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds meant for struggling small businesses on main street.  To date, 660 publicly-traded firms or conflicted companies – some worth more than $100 million – have secured $1.7 billion in forgivable PPP loans.

Among the latest recipients is LiquidPiston, which took home over $320,000 in PPP money after crowdfunding over a million dollars in capital in “just nine hours” earlier this year. Sequential Brands Group, Inc. secured a nearly $770,000 loan after paying its executives $5.6 million last year. While the PPP program is designed to help small businesses impacted by the health crisis, Cleanspark Inc. received a $530,000 loan after reporting $26.1 million in losses last year, and  Persistent Co. reportedly laid off half its workers in 2019; they join numerous other large companies that received PPP loans that were having ‘financial issues’ before the coronavirus outbreak.

“Small businesses continue to shutter by the thousands every week. Their employees join the tens of millions of American workers who find themselves in dire straits because of this public health crisis. But you wouldn’t know it by the President’s tweets that haven’t mentioned small businesses in days. You wouldn’t know it by his administration’s insistence on protecting the bottom line of publicly traded companies before saving mom and pops on the brink of bankruptcy,” said Jeremy Funk, spokesman for Accountable.US.

These filings were compiled as part of an ongoing tracking project by government watchdog Accountable.US. TrumpBailouts.org documents the billion-dollar corporations and other large companies that have received taxpayer assistance under the CARES Act, and what advantages and assets they had going into the COVID-19 crisis that most small businesses could never access.

AMONG THE LATEST PUBLICLY-TRADED PPP RECIPIENTS: 

LOAN DATE COMPANY STATE LOAN AMOUNT MOST RECENT EMPLOYEE COUNT
4/24/20 ClearOne Inc. UT $1,500,000 127
5/14/20 Data Storage Corporation NY $481,977 [unknown]
May 2020 LiquidPiston Inc. CT $323,507 18
4/16/20 Cavitation Technologies Inc. CA $104,000 5
5/15/20 Cleanspark Inc. UT $531,169 20
5/18/20 Sequential Brands Group, Inc. NY $769,295 42
4/24/20 Can B Corp. NY $193,250 19
5/5/20 Professional Diversity Network, Inc. IL $651,077 50
5/2/20 Orbital Energy Group Inc. TX $1,924,228 257
4/21/20 CarrierEQ Inc DE (dba Airfox) MA $537,732 68
5/7/20 Reliant Holdings TX $51,113 4
May 2020 BioLargo Inc CA $136,000 25
May 2020 XY – The Persistent Co CA $987,610 17
4/23/20 Royale Energy Inc CA $207,800 12

 

Previously controversial PPP grantees include a foreign-owned uranium mining corporation with ties to the Trump administration, at least two companies that market their ability to ship U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas, major luxury hotel chains, a fashion model agency, and even the L.A. Lakers.

SMALL BUSINESSES LEFT BEHIND: The Trump SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program has been bungled since day one, offering red tape and rejection to struggling small business owners while rolling out the red carpet for large publicly-traded companies that have resources average shops do not. Despite the administration’s claims these issues of access have been fixed, a shocking recent report estimates over 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed since the pandemic took off in March. And a recent survey found only 12 percent of Black and Latino small business owners got the PPP loans they asked for, and nearly half say they expect to close for good in the next six months. Meanwhile, well over 600 publicly-traded firms or conflicted companies – some worth more than $100 million – have walked away with over a billion and a half dollars in taxpayer money. It’s no wonder the Trump administration has shied away from transparency in this process.

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