We've Always been

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Sidebar

14
Fri, May

Tools
Typography

Even in Midst of a Pandemic, Big Biz Continues to Steal From Small Ones

As we’ve spent the last few weeks in our homes with our families, news from the outside world continues to flood our phones, TVs and the internet. Protests against stay-at-home orders, implications from the President that injecting disinfectant into the lungs would be effective in killing COVID-19 and excitement about incoming stimulus checks make up a mere fraction of the tidal wave of information that bombards us each day.

In the midst of this torrent, it can be hard to glean what really matters from the regular news cycle. You may have heard whispers about a grant program by the federal government meant to keep small businesses afloat during this economic shutdown. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is meant to provide these businesses with the means to continue paying their employees, utilities and other fees. These loans may also be forgiven if the recipients can prove that they used the money in this manner. This means that businesses won’t be obligated to pay the money back if they can prove that they used it to pay and retain employees, pay rent, etc.

Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? The idea is that free money for small businesses will help kickstart the economy once quarantine orders are lifted nationwide and things start going back to normal. In many ways, the program will help take some of the burden of this pandemic off of the small businesses struggling to make it. The PPP passed with a $349 billion pool to draw on, but quickly ran out before it was replenished with an additional $310 billion with Congressional approval. While it’s great that the program is being utilized, the question remains: where is all this money going?

That’s where things get a little hairy: it’s recently come to light that several publicly-traded companies applied for and received the loans. These companies have the funds and liquidity to easily weather the pandemic, yet received funds that were specifically meant for small, private businesses. Shake Shack, a national restaurant chain that still provides to-go ordering for customers, received a $10 million dollar loan from the program. AutoNation, a nation-wide company that has more than 360 retail outlets, received $77 million from the fund. After receiving well-earned public criticism, both companies said that they would return the money.

So who’s deciding where the money from the PPP goes? The answer to that question is also somewhat complicated. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the instrument through which people may obtain the loans, but it seems that many applicants go through their own private banks to get the money funneled to them. This means that there isn’t a ton of direct oversight from the federal government on who exactly the banks approve for the loans, which allows for big businesses to sneak under the radar and nab these highly desirable loans.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act established the PPP as part of its official legislation. The initial $349 billion allocated to the program contributed to the $2 trillion price tag of the CARES Act and has only increased since the funds in the program ran out so quickly. The act gave quite a bit of leeway to the Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, in how to distribute the PPP money. As a result, many have taken to blaming Secretary Mnuchin for the botched manner in which the PPP was carried out.

In my mind, however, both the government and the people of the United States aren’t pinning some well-deserved criticism on the middle men in these transactions: the banks. In the United States, banks hold quite a bit of power over the welfare of the economy. In 2008, the variable-rate mortgages that banks contracted to wannabe homeowners contributed to the Great Recession, yet very little legislation was passed on a federal level to prevent the same practices from being carried out again. Now, banks are major players in how these PPP loans are distributed. These major financial institutions continue to demonstrate to the American people that they can’t be trusted.

All in all, I think it’s important to give some leeway to the government as they figure out how to best deal with this unprecedented pandemic. That being said, the upper echelons of the administration shouldn’t be giving out free money to businesses that have no need for the cash. When a big business receives a PPP loan, a dozen small businesses across America might fail as a result. If this administration is truly pro-small business, they need to start acting like it.

List your Irish authored Books

SUBSCRIBE to IAN Today

Choose

Advertise

Paying For
Instructions

May 2021 Linked Edition

April Digitally Linked 2021

 

Irish Ann

Advertising Rates 2021

Shop Irish!

ARTIST
Bryan Boylan
ASSISTED LIVING
Aishling Companion Homecare
Destiny Senior Care

ATTORNEY
Dwyer and Coogan
GilMartin Legal
Healy Law
Lynch , Thomas 708-598-5999
McEntee Law Group
Miller & McGing Law Firm 773-467-8000
Murphy & Smith Ltd
Shannon Law Group
BAGPIPERS & DRUM CLASSES

Chicalba Bagpiping

BANKS
First National Bank of Brookfield

Marquette National Bank
BANQUETS
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
BEAUTY SALONS
Appearances Pk Ridge
 847-825-7615
Hair by O'Hara & Friends-Hometown
BOOKS - IRISH
TheIrishBookClub.com
BRICK REPAIR/REPLACEMENT
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CARPET CLEANER
Sheila's Carpet Shampooligans
CATERERS
Harrington's Catering & Deli
Unforgettable Edibles
CHARITABLE ORG

Mercy Home
IrishCommunityServices
CAULKING & SEALING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CHIMNEY REPAIR

Shamrock Tuckpointing

CHOIR
Irish Heritage Singers
COTTAGE RENTAL
Dingle Cottage: 312-399-8793
Gurtenard Hse - Listowel Co Kerry
CRUISES

Phil Coulter Tranquility Cruise
CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

Chicago Gaelic Park

iBAM!
Ireland Network Chicago
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Irish Am Society Co Will
Irish Am Unity Conference
Irish Heritage Singers
DANCE SCHOOLS

McNulty School of Dance
Trinity Irish Dance
ENTERTAINERS
Cahal Dunne
Chicalba Bagpiping
Paddy Homan
The Larkin Brothers
Catherine O'Connell
Joe McShane
Whiskey Mick Irish Rock
FESTIVALS

Arlington Heights
Dublin

IAHC
Indianapolis
Kansas City
Milwaukee
Naperville
FINANCIAL PLANNER

Corrigan Financial
FLORIST

Garland Flowers
FUNERAL HOMES

Gibbon's Funeral Homes
Roberty J Sheehy & Sons

GAELIC YOUTH FOOTBALL
773-719-2847 Jerry
GARBAGE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
GOLF COURSES
Palos Golf
GRAPHIC DESIGN

Laura Coyle 773-343-7268
Meghan Lee Graphic Design
GROCERIES/MEAT

Winston's
HEARING SPECIALIST
Mel Dermody
HOTELS/RESTAURANTS/PUBS

Clarke Hotel & Five Points Pub
County Clare Inn - Milwaukee
Ennis Inn & Pub
Irish Cottage Galena 1 866 CU-IRISH
St. Brendan's Inn
HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTANT
James Fitzgerald
IMMIGRATION SERVICES

IrishCommunityServices
IMPORT SHOPS
Ann's Irish Gifts

Celtica Gifts 773-784-7712
Donegal Imports
Gaelic Imports
Irish Shop
INSURANCE

American Family-Joan McKee
Riordan Insurance
JEWELERS

H. Watson
MUSIC SCHOOLS
Chgo Academy of Piping/Drumming
Irish Music School of Chgo
MYSTERY SHOPPER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654

PARTY PLANNERS
That Special Event

PENNY WHISTLES
Michael Burke
PHOTOGRAPH CAPTURING
Memoirs for Me
PHYSICAL THERAPY
SPORTS-ORTHOPEDIC
Athletex
PLASTERING

William McNulty & Son
708-386-2951
PUB/RESTAURANT RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar
PUBS & RESTAURANTS

Aishling on the Lough - Kenosha WI
Ashford House
The Celtic Knot
Chief O'Neill's
Clancy's Pizza Pub
Clarke Hotel - Waukesha WI
Corcorans
County Clare Inn - Milwaukee WI
Emerald Loop
Ennis Inn & Pub - De Pere WI
Fifth Province
Fiddler's Hearth
The Galway Arms
James Joyce Irish Pub
Johnny's Kitchen & Tap
Lizzie McNeill's
Mickey Finn's Brewery
Mystic Rogue Pub/Restaurant
Peggy Kinnanes
Red Apple Buffet
Six Penny Bit
St. Brendan's Inn - Green Bay WI
Vaughan's Pub

REALTORS
JSheehan Group
Koenig & Strey
Mary Ellen Considine  773-769-2500
RESTAURANT/HOSPITALITY RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654
SPORTS CLUBS

Chgo Celtic Soccer Club
stbrigids.chicago.gaa.ie
ST PATRICK'S DAY
St Patrick's Day Parade
SWEATERS

Anne's Irish Knits
TABLE RUNNERS
All 32 Counties
TELEVISION-CABLE

Irish Journal 708-366-4665
THEATRE
Late Nite Catechism
TOURIST ATTRACTION
Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home
TRAVEL /TOURS

Gadabout Travel
Jem Tours_Mary Pat Flanagan
TUCKPOINTING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
VACATION RENTALS
Dingle Cottage
Cork - Cottage from $450 weekly
Don at 608-274-1180
WASTE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
WEDDING PLANNER
That Special Event

WEDDING VENUES
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Palos Country Club
WOOD FLOOR SPECIALIST
The Sexton Group