The Trump administration, in a sharp reversal, is releasing the names of some businesses that received money from a federal government program created to alleviate burdens during virus-fueled lockdowns.
The name of any business that received $150,000 or more from the Paycheck Protection Program will be released, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Treasury said in a joint statement.
Meetings with lawmakers from both parties led to the decision.
“I am pleased that we have been able to reach a bipartisan agreement on disclosure which will strike the appropriate balance of providing public transparency, while protecting the payroll and personal income information of small businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
“We value transparency and our fiduciary responsibility to ensure American taxpayer funds are used appropriately,” added Jovita Carranza, the SBAs administrator.
Business names, addresses, zip codes, business type, demographic data, nonprofit information, jobs supported, loan amount, and North American Industry Classification System codes will be released.
The Paycheck Protection Program was created in April to help companies pay employees. Many businesses were forced to shut down by governors, who imposed harsh measures to try to stop the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Loans totaling $150,000 or more accounted for nearly 75 percent of the loan dollars approved through the program.
For loans below $150,000, totals will be released, aggregated by zip code, by industry, by business type, and by various demographic categories.
Senate Small Business Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who was pushing for transparency regarding loans, said the agreement will help Americans know how effective the program was in protecting the nations small businesses and the workers they employ.
“That is the standard by which we must measure the success of the PPP: how many paychecks were protected,” he said in a statement.
“I also understand the very real concern that many small business owners have with regard to disclosing proprietary information. Todays announcement strikes a balance between those concerns and the need for transparency.”