Published Jul 07, 2020The U.S. government is offering assistance to businesses whose livelihood is threatened by coronavirus lockdowns. Now, the Small Business Administration has revealed the businesses that have received loans — including Kanye West's apparel company Yeezy.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is intended to help companies keep their workers employed. PPP loans are forgiven if the companies keep workers employed for at least eight weeks. As the program's website notes, it's intended as a "direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll."
In theory, at least, that's a very positive thing, although the definition of "small business" seems to have been stretched to the absolute limit here. Yeezy was recently valued at $3 billion (with Kanye as the company's sole owner), and yet the company was approved for a small business loan worth between $2 million and $5 million USD. That money will allow to retain 106 jobs (and will perhaps free up some cash for Kanye to use for his presidential campaign).
In the film world, Jim Henson Company received a $2 million loan to retain 75 workers. Judd Apatow's production business received $160,000, but the company has said that it didn't use the money and returned the loan. San Francisco's Walt Disney Family Museum and the Grammy Museum Foundation also got loans.
Perhaps strangest of all, three Church of Scientology locations got loans of between $150,000 and $350,000.
On the more logical end of the spectrum, a number of independent record labels received PPP loans. Those include Sub Pop, Third Man, Knitting Factory, Stones Throw, Dreamville, ATO, Dim Mak, Cleopatra, Rostrum, Equal Vision, Metal Blade, Sumerian, Reach and New West.