More than half of emergency small business funds went to larger businesses, new data show

Read more on this subject: Welfare: Corporate
News Story Source: Jonathan O’Connell, Andrew Van Dam, Aaron Greg
According to data on the government's Paycheck Protection Program, about 600 mostly larger companies, including dozens of national chains, received the maximum amount allowed under the program of $10 million.

Officials from the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration have argued that the program primarily benefited smaller business because a vast majority of the loans ? more than 87% ? were for less than $150,000, as of August. But the new data show that more than half of the $522 billion in the same time frame had gone to bigger businesses, and only 28% of the money was distributed in amounts of under $150,000.

The newly released data comes after a federal lawsuit filed by The Washington Post and 10 other news organizations under the Freedom of Information Act challenging the SBA's refusal to release records on borrowers and loan amounts. A federal judge ordered release of the data by Tuesday and the agency did not appeal.

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