The Yeezy brand got a BIG boost from the government amidst the coronavirus crisis.
On Monday, the US Treasury Department released the names of more than 650,000 businesses that received funds from a federal lending program. The Paycheck Protection Program was designed to support the economy during the pandemic and give relief to small businesses. According to the treasury, Yeezy pocketed between $2 million and $5 million.
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Now, if you’re confused how a major company like Yeezy qualifies as a small business, well, you’re not alone! The loan was available to businesses with a certain number of employees, a restriction Yeezy presumably fell under. But that’s not exactly the conventional definition of “small business” — after all, West’s sister-in-law Kylie Jenner claimed to have only 5 employees at Kylie Cosmetics, and that was also (supposedly) a billion dollar business.
Here’s a breakdown from The Hollywood Reporter:
“The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program let most companies with 500 or fewer employees apply for loans to cover the cost of eight weeks of payroll. The PPP loans cover up to two and a half times the company’s average monthly payroll costs, up to $10 million with a cap of $100,000 per employee. Sole-proprietorships, independent contractors and some self-employed workers were also eligible — and because contractors could apply on their own their payroll costs couldn’t be included in the application from the company with which they work.”
Yeezy disclosed that it was able to save 160 jobs because of the loan. However, the Treasury won’t be able to calculate how many jobs were lost until businesses begin to apply for their loan forgiveness program, so we don’t really have a full picture of what went down yet.
The 650,000 names released by the Treasury made up less than 15% of the total businesses that received PPP money, according to CBS News, so hopefully a lot of that money did get into the hands of truly deserving companies and local businesses. However, because the list included companies that got more than $150,000 of PPP, it was met with a lot of scrutiny.
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Several of the names on the list raised eyebrows for perceived conflict of interest. The Daily Beast reported three businesses connected to Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner received funds, while Politico identified four members of Congress among the recipients. Yeezy getting money seems shady in itself, considering how tight Kanye and Trump have been over the last few years. (Whether that’s still true after ‘Ye announced his presidential run on Twitter remains to be seen.)
All in all, aiding a celebrity and his already-successful sneaker company is probably not where most of us saw our tax dollars going. But what do U think, Perezcious readers? Does Yeezy deserve the loan? Or do you have a different idea of “small businesses”?
[Image via WENN/Instar.]
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