Who are the 7 governors who have obtained PPP payments for their companies?
The governors of at least seven states have ties to companies that have received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Governors who ordered closures as their states responded to the coronavirus The pandemic was among millions of beneficiaries of the loan program created to help small businesses overcome the effects of COVID-19 on the economy, data showed Monday.
The governors of at least seven states have ties to companies that have received loans under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. Both Republicans and Democrats, loans from their associates ranged from $ 150,000 to over $ 11 million. It is legal for businesses owned by elected officials to apply for and receive loans.
A minor league baseball team owned in part by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine received a loan, as did an investment firm run by the family of New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. A communications company in which New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has a stake, and a wine and hotel business founded by California Governor Gavin Newsom have also been beneficiaries. At least six of West Virginia Governor billionaire Jim Justice’s family businesses were eligible for loans. And the former medical office of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, in which he is still invested, and a commercial real estate brokerage firm started by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan have also received loans.
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Governors have played a leading role in the United States’ response to the deadly coronavirus pandemic, issuing orders that shut down businesses and schools, established guidelines on masks and social distancing, and shut down residents of their homes.
Their businesses managed to navigate a system that many Main Street businesses struggled to navigate before funding for the program’s first round of loans dried up. The aid plan is the centerpiece of the federal government’s plan to save an economy devastated by closures and uncertainty. The data published by the Treasury Department present the most comprehensive accounting in the program so far.
The governors’ successful efforts to tap into the lending program came, in some cases, as they faced a setback from the economic effects of their virus-fighting policies. Republican DeWine, for example, has been berated by some local party officials and targeted in Statehouse protests for going too far in his response.
He is co-owner of DeWine Seeds-Silver Dollar Baseball, which received a loan between $ 150,000 and $ 350,000. The company owns the Asheville Tourists, a North Carolina minor league baseball team that was purchased by the governor’s family in 2010. DeWine’s son, Brian DeWine, is the team president.
A spokesperson said DeWine owns a 32% stake in the baseball team and does not play any management role. He said the loan, in the amount of $ 189,500, would cover payroll and payroll-related expenses.
Waterville Valley Holdings, an investment group run by Sununu’s family, a Republican, obtained a loan of between $ 350,000 and $ 1 million. The company is the primary investor in Waterville Valley Resort, a ski area where Sununu served as CEO until taking office in 2017.
Sununu legal adviser John Formella noted that the resort is part of an industry that has been shut down and severely affected by the pandemic. At least five other New Hampshire ski areas or resort properties associated with Sununu have secured loans of at least $ 150,000.
A New York-based communications company with a stake owned by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, has secured a loan of $ 350,000 to $ 1 million. Cohere Communications said it would retain 21 jobs under the program. Murphy’s stake in the business is unclear, but he reported it in a 2019 financial disclosure form filed with the state’s Ethics Commission.
PlumpJack Management Group LLC, Newsom’s wine and hotel company, received a loan worth $ 150,000 to $ 350,000. PlumpJack said it kept 14 jobs thanks to the loan. The company is part of a portfolio of brands that includes an idyllic resort hotel near Lake Tahoe, five restaurants and bars, four Napa Valley wineries, a sports retailer and more.
Ahead of taking office in 2019, Newsom said it would step down from its businesses and put its assets in a blind trust managed by a family friend and a lawyer.
When asked why PlumpJack applied for the loan, Newsom told a coronavirus press conference that “you’ll have to ask the people who run these companies. It’s in a blind trust; period, full stop.
In West Virginia, Justice Family Businesses received at least $ 11.1 million from the federal assistance program.
Justice, a Republican, is considered the richest man in West Virginia thanks to the ownership of dozens of coal and farming companies, many of which have been sued for unpaid debts. At least six entities in the Justice family have received paycheck protection program loans, including the lavish governor’s resort The Greenbrier, as well as The Greenbrier Sporting Club, an exclusive members-only club linked to the resort.
Payments to businesses from the Department of Justice could reach $ 24.3 million, as the federal government disclosed the dollar figures as ranges, not specific amounts.
“I have encouraged all businesses in our state to try and research anything they could possibly ask of the federal government in regards to loans,” Justice said Monday, adding that about $ 2 billion had gone into the state of the federal package.
Justice said he wanted to put his assets in a blind trust soon after he was elected, but didn’t. He maintains that his children control the family business empire.
The former Northam medical practice, in which he has a stake, received a loan of $ 2-5 million. Northam, a pediatric neurologist, is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the Children’s Specialty Group and played no role in their loan application, his spokesperson said.
A commercial real estate brokerage firm founded by Maryland’s Hogan also received a loan of $ 150,000 to $ 350,000. Hogan retired from the company when he was elected governor. Its assets are managed by a trust.