(Washington, D.C.)—U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today issued the following statement on the Trump Administration’s refusal to provide data on the companies that are receiving taxpayer-funded Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans:
“Since it is clear that many small businesses will not be able to resume their normal operations, Congress must now examine how we can continue to support our nation’s most vulnerable small businesses. There’s only one problem: we do not know which companies need the most help, because the Trump Administration has not released detailed data on the companies that have received PPP loans. The Trump Administration’s failure to release this detailed information fails to meet the standard of transparency that has been set in SBA’s major loan programs.”
On the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) website under Freedom of Information Act requests, taxpayers have access to details about 7(a) borrowers and lenders dating back nearly 30 years, to 1991. The details cover 36 categories, from the business and lender names to addresses and loan amounts.
On May 5, Senate Republicans blocked legislation introduced by Cardin and Democratic Senators Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) that would increase transparency and accountability of the federal government’s COVID-19 small business relief efforts.
Last week, Cardin and committee Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sent a letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requesting regular reporting of PPP loan data. The Members wrote: “In adherence to the SBA’s current disclosure practices of “frequently requested information,” the SBA should begin making available on its website the following PPP information for all loans approved since the program began: Name of business or nonprofit borrower and address, lender and address, loan or grant amount, business type, Congressional District, number of jobs supported.”
On April 17, Cardin, Shaheen, Schumer, and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent a letter to Administrator Carranza and Secretary Mnuchin urging the officials to provide American taxpayers with data on how small business relief funds are being distributed.