If I try to think of everyone I know who owns or works at a small business, I’m going to leave someone out. I’m not unique in that I know a lot of people who own or work at a small company. Nearly everyone knows someone at a small business. Hell, most people work at a small business. If you don’t know anyone associated with a small business, then you’re in the top one percent of income earners and probably don’t know what a quart of milk costs.
Congress allocated $349 billion for small businesses in what’s called the “Paycheck Protection Program.” Donald Trump talked about how popular it was. Yes, money is popular. In this case, it’s popular like lifeboats on the Titanic were popular. And like those lifeboats, there’s not enough to go around.
A recent study found that 78% of America’s workers live paycheck to paycheck. At this point, over 22 million have filed for unemployment since the pandemic began. This money is desperately needed.
The Paycheck Protection Program ran out of money within two weeks. A friend of mine with a small business was one of the first to apply and they were denied. His business might only have ten employees at most.
The money went to banks to dish out, and they prioritized applicants who had lines of credit or business bank accounts with them. A lot of people who applied still don’t know where they stand. A lot of people at the banks still don’t know.
You have probably heard the uproar of large businesses receiving some of this money. Businesses like Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, and Shake Shack. Shake Shack got $10 million which they returned after receiving bad publicity. The shack is worth at least $430 million. Why did they need $10 million more? The corporation didn’t return that money out of the good graces of their heart because after all, they did apply for it. They wanted it. At least $234 million of the money meant for small businesses went to publicly-traded companies, many worth over $100 million.
Another one that hasn’t seen as much press is Continental Materials Corp which received $5.5 million at a 1% interest rate. This company that’s sold over $100 million in heating and cooling equipment is owned by the family of U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Ronald Gidwitz, who was Donald Trump’s campaign finance chair for Illinois in the 2016 presidential campaign. Fewer than 1% of the loans are greater than $5 million. The average is a little over $200,000. Yet this guy connected to Donald Trump got 5 million bucks that he may not even have to pay back.
After being asked about these loans, Donald Trump said he didn’t get any of it, which was not a part of the question. That’s like telling O.J. someone murdered his wife and him replying, “I don’t own any ex-wife-stabbing knives.” The cynic in me thinks from Trump’s answer, he got a piece of it. Also, how would he know? I mean, he said he wouldn’t have any dealings with his businesses while he’s president (sic) because they’re in a blind trust (sic) run by his two idiot sons (sic, sic, sic).
Then, Donald Trump went off on Harvard for receiving part of the bailout. Harvard did receive money as part of the bailout, but not from the Paycheck Protection Program. Once again, Trump is lying…which is why I want to know how much did he get from the Paycheck Protection Program? Donald Trump’s line of credit when it comes to transparency, facts, and being direct is exhausted.
Part of the deal for the $2.2 trillion emergency bailout is that there would be an inspector general at the Treasury Department as part of the oversight. Naturally, you can’t trust Republicans, most especially with a grifter like Donald Trump when it comes to taxpayer money or any money that doesn’t belong to him. Don’t put stealing these funds past him. We’re talking about a guy who has stolen money from a children’s cancer charity to buy signed football helmets and portraits of himself. Plus, it’s another example why you should NEVER take advice from Donald Trump on business, money, stocks, medicine, or even football. He did run the USFL out of business and Sniffy McSnort-A-Lot thought a football helmet signed by Tim Tebow would be valuable.
After the legislation passed and Trump signed it, he overruled any reports by an inspector general, saying he’ll have to approve them first. On top of that, no inspector general for the Treasure Department has been confirmed by the Senate. Who’s overlooking this money? Donald Trump, who paid $12,000 of charity money for that Tebow helmet.
Off-topic, but that helmet along with two portraits of Trump was surrendered as part of his Trump fraud Foundation settlement with New York. Today, all three items purchased at $30,000, is valued at $975. Everything Donald Trump touches turns to…anyway…
Now, Congress has approved billions more to aid small businesses. How fast will it disappear? How many small businesses will continue to miss out? How many small businesses will disappear while the coronavirus doesn’t (as Trump promised)?
And, how much bigger will Donald Trump’s potbelly get from taxpayer money?
As Johnny said in Airplane!, “And Leon’s getting larger!”
This pandemic is hitting everyone, including your favorite goofy cartoonist. I have lost clients and I’m afraid I might lose more. The PayPal button has always been included here for those who can and want to voluntarily support what I do. I understand this time is hard on everyone. If you can’t, don’t contribute. Take care of yourself and your family first.
But, all and any help is greatly appreciated and it helps keep me going. Think of me like a street performing busking out tunes on a corner (I won’t play “Wonderwall.” I promise). If you like the tune, or in this case, toon, throw a buck into the tip jar. It’ll help me play another song, draw another toon, write another blog, make another video, and post another snarky post on social media. It’ll help keep me alive. You can also order a signed print for $40. And if you don’t like the PayPal option, you can snail mail it to my P.O. Box.
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