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How Sen. Collins Helped Big Hotel Chains Grab Small Business Funding

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica

In March, as lawmakers raced to put together a massive stimulus package to cope with the pandemic-related shutdowns sweeping the country, a New York company that invests in hotels deployed a Washington lobbyist for the first time. The lobbyist's mission was to secure an exception in the emerging relief program for small businesses so that hotel chains would become eligible.

The company, EOS Investors, had more than 500 employees, putting it above the limit in the original proposal by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), and Marco Rubio (R-FL). But if the cap for hotels were set for each location instead of companywide, then EOS could benefit at several of its properties, like the collection of resorts that EOS had recently acquired in Kennebunkport, Maine.

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How Big Business Scammed Loans Aimed At Small Firms

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica

The Paycheck Protection Program was launched to rescue the little guy, the millions of small businesses without the deep pockets needed to survive the COVID-19 shock.

But among the restaurants, dentists and mom-and-pops was Vibra Healthcare, a chain of hospitals and therapy centers spread across 19 states with over 9,000 employees. The biggest PPP loan was supposed to be $10 million, but Vibra found a way to land as much as $97 million.

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Trump Family, Cronies Cleared For Millions In Bailout Funds

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

Businesses tied to President Donald Trump's family and associates stand to receive as much as $21 million in government loans designed to shore up payroll expenses for companies struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to federal data released Monday.

A hydroponic lettuce farm backed by Trump's eldest son, Donald Jr., applied for at least $150,000 in Small Business Administration funding. Albert Hazzouri, a dentist frequently spotted at Mar-a-Lago, asked for a similar amount. A hospital run by Maria Ryan, a close associate of Trump lawyer and former mayor Rudy Giuliani, requested more than $5 million. Several companies connected to the president's son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, could get upward of $6 million.

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GOP Cuts In Unemployment Benefits Could Cost 2.8 Million Jobs

Another 2.8 million jobs could be lost if an unemployment provision in the coronavirus relief bill is not renewed, according to a new report from Congress.

The report, from the Joint Economic Committee, warned that unless a federal supplement to unemployment benefits is extended past its July 31 expiration date, "as many as 2.8 million jobs" could be lost, increasing the unemployment rate "by as much as 1.8 percent."

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