French Hill has been busy trying to get out in front of this scandal, claiming to have brought stimulus relief to Arkansas. Shockingly, more than 13,000 Arkansas small business loan applications, totaling $1.1 billion have yet to be processed. But somehow, millions from French Hill’s corporate slush fund found its way to Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Texas — and even to 450 Kura Sushi locations in Japan.
We all can respect a good steak and order of sashimi, but French Hill’s priorities are plain off-base.
CBS News reports >>>
“The rush to distribute nearly $350 billion in federal aid from a popular — and now empty— small business relief fund resulted in the government sending billions to areas of the country with relatively few novel coronavirus cases, to companies in industries that have not been the hardest hit by the shutdown, and to companies that are not even small businesses.
So where did the Paycheck Protection Program’s ultra-low-interest loans to small businesses go so quickly? Here are early details from the latest available U.S. Small Business Administration data:
Businesses in Texas got more PPP loans than any other state, although Texas has nearly 16,500 COVID-19 cases, or the tenth biggest coronavirus disease caseload in the U.S, according to Friday data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New York, with about 216,000 cases, by far the most of any state, ranked fourth in the number of PPP loans.
The owner of the Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses chain got $20 million from the small business loan program, despite having more than 5,000 employees and $468 million in revenue last year. It is one of more than 50 publicly traded companies that have already disclosed nabbing nearly $250 million in PPP funds.
Construction businesses received the most aid of any industry from the PPP, more than the Main Street retail stores that have essentially shut down and become the public face of the coronavirus recession. Construction firms, meanwhile, have been deemed an essential business in all but six states, allowing most to continue operating.
University of Chicago Booth School of Business accounting professor Michael Minnis has co-authored a preliminary study on the Paycheck Protection Program and set up a website tracking the program and its loans. He sees few links between where the biggest economic need is during the COVID-19 crisis and where the government funds are going.”