Key COVID Relief Program Sent Millions In Aid To Tenants Of Trump Organization, Kushner Cos.
Even as it prepares to make way for President-elect Joe Biden, the Trump administration continues to draw ire for conflicts of interest.
Documents released by the Small Business Administration under court order revealed that over $3.6M from the CARES Act's Paycheck Protection Program was given to companies located in properties owned by The Trump Organization or Kushner Cos., NBC News reports. The funds were distributed among 25 companies, 15 of which kept either one job, no jobs or didn't disclose a jobs figure at all.
The $700B Paycheck Protection Program was passed by Congress in the spring for the SBA to give forgivable loans to small businesses so that they could avoid laying off workers. But from the outset, the distribution of PPP funds came under scrutiny for who was receiving them and who wasn't.
The largest PPP loan given to companies at Trump properties was $2.2M to Triomphe Restaurant Corp., which occupies the ground floor of Trump International Hotel & Tower at the southwest corner of Central Park in New York, NBC reports. Triomphe reported that the money did not go toward keeping any jobs, and it closed in the summer.
The Trump Organization did not directly receive any funds from the PPP, and a spokesman for the company told NBC news that it was specifically excluded from the program. Two affiliates of Kushner Cos. formed to run hotel properties received PPP loans, and Kushner Cos. itself did not receive PPP loans for other properties, the company told NBC News.
Though the majority of Kushner and Trump tenants who received PPP loans did not preserve a significant number of jobs, it was not disclosed if they have remained current with rent since receiving the funds.
One affiliate enterprise did preserve a significant number of jobs: LB City Inc., which is associated with the Long Branch Bungalow Hotel owned by Kushner Cos. With its $506K loan, it reported keeping 155 jobs, NBC reports. But a combined six office tenants at Kushner Cos.' 666 Fifth Ave. and Trump Tower a couple of blocks away received over $300K collectively and kept only nine jobs between them.
It took a federal lawsuit from a group of 11 media companies to force the SBA to release the documents that revealed the recipients and results of the PPP program.
As with the fraud investigations against the Trump Organization carried out by federal courts in New York, President Donald Trump has directed the departments of his executive branch to attempt to block any public release of documents. But some legal and financial troubles may still await him when he returns to life as a private citizen.
CORRECTION, DEC. 4, 12:15 P.M. ET: A previous version of the headline for this article incorrectly stated that The Trump Organization and Kushner Cos. themselves received money from the PPP, rather than tenants of their properties. This article has been updated.