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Data Raises Questions About Who Benefited From PPP Loans

Gov. Jim Justice, W.Va., waves to the crowd at his annual State of the State speech on Jan. 9, 2019, in Charleston, W.Va.
Gov. Jim Justice, W.Va., waves to the crowd at his annual State of the State speech on Jan. 9, 2019, in Charleston, W.Va.

Many of the companies and organizations getting loans from the Paycheck Protection Program – billed by the SBA as a lifeline for struggling, small companies — aren't what anyone would think of as small businesses.

Among them:

Large restaurant chains, including Applebee's, P.F. Chang's, Ruby Tuesday and TGI Fridays, got loans between $5 million and $10 million.

The Greenbrier Hotel Corporation, a luxury resort owned by West Virginia's billionaire governor James Justice, got a loan between $5 million and $10 million.

Musician and fashion designer Kanye West's company, Yeezy LLC, got a loan for at least $2 million.

Religious organizations, including Roman Catholic dioceses in several states, the Church of Scientology and megachurch Willow Creek received loans ranging from $150,000 to several million dollars.

A long list of well-connected Washington think tanks, law firms and lobbyists got loans, including Americans for Tax Reform, founded by Grover Norquist, a longtime opponent of federal spending. The organization got a loan between $150,000 and $300,000. Also on the list were businesses connected to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband and President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

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