Hundreds of publicly traded companies got more than $1 billion from PPP small-business fund

Nearly 400 publicly traded companies received almost $1.3 billion in federal forgivable loans meant for small businesses desperately trying to survive the coronavirus crisis, an independent analysis of financial record filings found.

The list of those public businesses that accessed Paycheck Protection Program money includes construction firms, tech companies and pharmaceutical corporations, according to the analytics firm FactSquared.
Several large hotel groups and restaurant chains each obtained loans above the $10 million maximum level because they filed more than one application, which is allowable under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act that Congress passed in March to rescue the plummeting U.S. economy.
There’s no known evidence any of the companies violated the rules of the PPP, which approved more than $500 billion in loans during the past five weeks.The money public companies accessed represents a fraction of the roughly $650 billion Congress allocated to the program.
But there has been bipartisan outrage after news reports last month that a number of prominent entities, such as the Shake Shack restaurant chain and the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, got loans while much smaller mom-and-pop stores were shut out of the popular program when it ran out of money last month. Congress has since replenished the program although it is running out of money again.

Both Shake Shack and the Lakers returned the money.