These celebrity-linked companies received up to millions of dollars in forgivable government loans pegged for struggling small businesses.
6 Celebrities Whose Companies Received COVID-19 Relief Loans
In March, Congress passed the CARES ACt, a $2 trillion Coronavirus economic relief plan that includes stimulus payments to individual taxpayers, moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures and forgivable government loans for small businesses in the bill’s long list of relief programs.
Under the CARES Act, small businesses with up to 500 employees may be eligible for a forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) to help the business stay afloat during the pandemic and keep employees on the payroll.
Borrowers can apply for loan forgiveness if they meet certain qualifications such as using at least 60% of the loan for payroll costs. The loans have helped countless struggling small businesses remain open, and even gig workers, freelancers and sole proprietors can apply.
Yet several businesses owned by wealthy celebrities also took out PPP loans ranging from $350,000 to $5 million. Click or swipe for 6 celebrities whose companies received PPP loans.
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1. Kanye West’s Yeezy Brand
Hip-hop star and presidential candidate Kanye West’s sneaker and clothing company Yeezy LLC received a loan of between $2 million and $5 million, according to SBA loan records.
Yeezy, which reported 106 employees to be kept on the payroll with the loan, is famous for its controversial celebrity owner and pricey sneakers, some of which cost $2,000 or more a pair.
2. Khloe Kardashian’s Good American Line
Reality star Khloe Kardashian’s Good American clothing company, which she owns with business partner Emma Grede, received a Paycheck Protection Program loan worth between $1 million and $2 million, according to the SBA. The company reported having 57 employees at the time.
Kardashian, famous for her reality-star role in “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” – along with being Kanye West’s sister-in-law – had a net worth of around $40 million in 2018, according to Money.com.
3. Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James
Draper James, the Southern-themed clothing company founded by Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon, received a federal PPP loan for between $350,000 and $1 million, according to SBA loan data. The company reported a staff of 44 employees retained with the PPP loan funds.
4. Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Rich Dad Operating Company, associated with Robert Kiyosaki, who co-authored two books with Donald Trump, received a PPP loan between $350,000 and $1 million, according to SBA records. The company reported 11 employees to be retained with loan funds.
Kiyosaki co-wrote “Why We Want You to Be Rich” and “Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich and Why Most Don’t” with Trump. The day before the PPP application process opened in April, Kiyosaki referred to the government loan program on his Twitter account as “free money” and “socialism for rich.”[sic]
5. Francis Ford Coppola Presents
Francis Ford Coppola Presents LLC, the film, wine and lifestyle company associated with Francis Ford Coppola, the famed producer, director and writer of Oscar-winning films such as The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, received a PPP loan for between $5 million and $10 million dollars, according to the SBA.
The company reported 469 employees to be retained with loan funds.
6. Artist Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons LLC, the art studio of high-profile modernist sculptor Jeff Koons, received a PPP loan between $1 million and $2 million, according to SBA data. Koons’ business reported 53 employees to be retained using loan funds.
Koon’s “Rabbit” sculpture sold for $91 million at auction in 2019. The price snagged at auction broke the record for most expensive artwork sold by a living artist, according to The New York Times. Another Koons sculpture, “Balloon Dog (Orange)” sold at Christie’s auction for $58 million in 2013.
Published by Debt.com, LLC