Multi-millionaire Trump donor is top recipient of funds intended for struggling small businesses – Popular Information

UPDATE: Following this investigation by Judd Legum, Bennett has pledged to return the funds.

Across the country, thousands of small businesses — many on the verge of collapse — have not been able to obtain a forgivable loan from the Paycheck Protection Program. The initial $349 billion for the program ran out in a few days. Congress approved an additional $310 billion last week, but most of that money will go to businesses already in the pipeline. Many small enterprises will still be left out. 

One person who isn’t having trouble getting cash from the Paycheck Protection Program: Trump donor Monty Bennett, who is a multi-millionaire. 

Bennett, like Trump, is in the hotel business. Bennett is the CEO of Ashford Inc., which makes money “advising” two related companies, Ashford Hospitality Trust and Braemar Hotels & Resorts, which own hotels. (Bennett serves as chairman of the board of the two subsidiaries.)  The companies had “combined revenue last year of $2.2 billion.”

According to filings with the SEC, Bennett’s three companies have secured $96.1 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans. And more may be on the way. According to a fact sheet produced by the three companies, they’ve applied for a total of $126 million in Paycheck Protection Act loans. 

Will these funds be used to pay hotel employees? It does not appear that way. The loans will be forgiven by the government if 75% of the money is used for payroll expenses, up to a $100,000 annual salary for each employee. According to the companies’ fact sheet, “it appears that we will only minimally qualify, and we will have to pay the balance back when it is due in 2 years.” That suggests the bulk of the money will not be spent on qualified payroll expenses. 

This seems to be a change from a few days ago when Bennett told the Wall Street Journal that “75% or more of the proceeds will be used to bring our employees back to work with the balance to be used to pay utilities, rent, and debt service to lenders.” The companies have “laid off or furloughed 95% of staff.”

This seems to be a change from a few days ago when Bennett told the Wall Street Journal that “75% or more of the proceeds will be used to bring our employees back to work with the balance to be used to pay utilities, rent, and debt service to lenders.” The companies have “laid off or furloughed 95% of staff.”

via Multi-millionaire Trump donor is top recipient of funds intended for struggling small businesses – Popular Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s