PPP loans were meant to help small businesses save jobs amid the pandemic. So why does official data show thousands of recipients retained zero jobs?
When Quest Food Management Services was approved for a forgivable federal loan to help it preserve jobs during the pandemic, the Lombard, Ill.-based company, which supplies meals to schools throughout the Chicago area, was so grateful that it issued a news release celebrating its ability to keep more than 830 people employed.But data released this week by the Small Business Administration detailing who received loans from the Paycheck Protection Program did not tie any jobs to Quest’s $5.3 million loan. Like tens of thousands of other loan recipients listed in the official government data, the...
Missing jobs data and disputed loan amounts cloud government records on $660B small-business bailout
PHILADELPHIA — Michael Schulson was thrown a lifeline by the federal government’s bailout for small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. It helped him get almost half of his 178 employees back to work serving takeout customers and outdoor diners at his popular Sampan and Double Knot restaurants in Philadelphia’s Center City.So he didn’t know what to think when he saw his company listed in records released this week by the Trump administration as having received millions more than his actual award from the Paycheck Protection Program — while retaining no jobs at all.“I was a bit surprise...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Quicken Loans files paperwork for IPO under name Rocket Companies
DETROIT — Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, has filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to move forward with taking the company public under the name Rocket Companies.Although the Detroit-based company has not yet announced the number or price of shares that would be offered on the New York Stock Exchange, experts have speculated an initial public offering by Quicken could raise tens of billions of dollars. No date was given for the proposed IPO.Under the proposal made public Tuesday, Quicken founder Dan Gilbert would retain a controlling stake in Ro...
The Detroit News
Huge gains in sales, profits at General Mills as people at home ate everything it makes
MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills Inc.’s latest profit rose 10% and its sales rose 21%, huge gains of a kind rarely seen at a large food company, as consumers gobbled up the company’s cereals, snacks and baking goods while spending more time at home to fend off coronavirus.But the ongoing economic downturn has made executives cautious about the coming months. General Mills declined to offer guidance to investors on expectations for its new fiscal year, which started June 1.Its shares fell 2% in premarket trading indications on a morning when the broader market appeared to be heading for a decline.Th...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Wells Fargo expects dividend cut as coronavirus roils financial system
Wells Fargo expects it will shrink its dividend when it announces second-quarter earnings in July, the San Francisco-based bank said Monday.It will be the bank’s first dividend cut since the financial crisis.The move came after the Federal Reserve released the results of its annual stress tests of the country’s largest banks Thursday, in which it barred them from buying back their own stock or increasing dividend payouts to shareholders in the third quarter.Despite the restrictions, the regulator said that banks were generally still well-capitalized during the economic downturn caused by the c...
The Charlotte Observer
Trump signs bill updating forgivable loans program for small businesses
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law a new version of the small business loan program known as PPP.The new law, called the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, reshaped the forgivable loans Congress created in late March as the coronavirus pandemic forced many businesses to shut down and layoff workers.It now lets businesses qualify for loan forgiveness up to $10 million if they meet certain criteria. And it extended the period in which business can spend funds in order to have them forgiven.As well, Businesses forced to shut down during the pandemic now have m...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Small rural businesses fight for bailout aid
Travis Hogman describes himself as a “small fish” who competes with “just about everybody.”The owner of The Lumberyard in rural, far southwestern Wyoming, squares off with regional rivals like BMC West and heavyweights like Amazon, Lowe’s and Home Depot.“I fight the small-town mentality all the time,” Hogman said. “We’re always fighting every day for every penny that we get.”Over the past several months, small rural business owners like Hogman have been fighting another battle: getting their share of federal coronavirus aid.The $2 trillion CARES Act Congress approved in late March funded sever...
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in shareholder meeting rejects notion that workers were fired in retaliation
SEATTLE — Jeff Bezos rejected the notion that Amazon has fired employees in recent weeks for speaking about working conditions.“We support every employees’ right to criticize their employer’s working conditions, but that also doesn’t mean they’re allowed to not follow internal policies,” the Amazon founder, chairman and CEO said in response to a question during the company’s annual shareholder meeting Wednesday. “But for sure, your rights to protest working conditions, we take that super seriously, and we have no problem with that at all.”That has been the company’s official line in recent wee...
The Seattle Times
Adult businesses suing to get PPP loans. So far, the nightclubs are winning
CHICAGO — The federal Payroll Protection Program has hit a few bumps in the road since its rollout last month, from blowback over alleged preferential treatment for larger businesses to growing concern over loan forgiveness requirements.Now it’s navigating a legal challenge from adult nightclubs including Chicago’s Admiral Theatre alleging the Small Business Administration shut them out of PPP funding.At issue is a long-standing SBA restriction on loans to businesses that present live performances of a “prurient sexual nature.” Lawsuits brought by adult clubs in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michiga...
Target sees biggest sales jump in 15 years, but profits take a big hit
MINNEAPOLIS — Target saw its biggest quarterly sales jump in 15 years as the pandemic spurred millions of consumers to order items online and to use its curbside pickup service for the first time.The pandemic also took a bigger-than-expected toll on its profits as sales of higher-margin apparel declined 20% and it had to write down mountains of unsold clothing as consumers dramatically shifted spending to groceries and household supplies.But CEO Brian Cornell said the Minneapolis-based retailer saw a big uptick in apparel sales in mid-April as consumers received stimulus checks.“Apparel certai...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)