$100M Company RCI Hospitality and Multi-Level Marketer Among Latest SBA PPP Recipients
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The latest Securities and Exchange Commission filings show 32 additional publicly traded companies secured over $75 million in SBA Paycheck Protection Program funds meant for struggling small businesses on main street, including at least four businesses with more than 500 employees.
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Among them, RCI Hospitality Holdings Inc, which operates “upscale gentlemen's clubs and restaurants” and adult entertainment websites, received a $5,424,000 forgivable loan after paying its executives over $1.8 million last year with a $100 million market cap and $181 million in revenue. Additionally, Nature's Sunshine, a multi-level marketing company, also took home a $5.4 million forgivable PPP loan on the heels of compensating its executives nearly $3.2 million and bringing in $368 million in revenue during 2019.
The latest filings come in the wake of an SBA Inspector General report finding the Trump SBA’s lack of guidance led to many minority and women small businesses -- as many as 90 percent -- being left behind in the first round of the PPP program. There is no indication that the indefensible, systematic discrimination has been ‘fixed’ by the administration.
“Somehow this small business lifeline continues to go to companies that pay their executives millions of dollars each year. Meanwhile, mainstreet Mom-and-Pops face burdensome red tape and arbitrary restrictions on accessing this aid. The Trump administration has bungled this program from the start — and it’s setting up a post-pandemic economy that will be even more controlled by the largest corporations,” said Derek Martin, spokesman for Accountable.US.
RCI Hospitality Among The Latest Publicly-Traded PPP Recipients
|LOAN DATE||COMPANY||STATE||LOAN AMOUNT||MOST RECENT EMPLOYEE COUNT|
|4/16/20||Enochian Biosciences Inc.*||CA||$272,700.00||8|
|4/29/20||Deep Down, Inc.||TX||$1,111,000.00||48|
|5/4/20||Radiant Logistics, Inc.||WA||$5,900,000.00||708|
|5/5/20||Red Violet, Inc.||FL||$2,152,145.00||107|
|4/17/20||Great Elm Capital Group Inc.||NV||$3,600,000.00||328|
|May 2020||Agenus Inc.||MA||$6,200,000.00||328|
|5/5/20||Shepherd's Finance LLC||FL||$362,000.00||19|
|5/8/20||RCI Hospitality Holdings Inc.||TX||$5,424,000.00||2,200|
|5/5/20||ADM Tronics Unlimited Inc.||NJ||$381,000.00||23|
|4/30/20||ImageWare Systems, Inc.||CA||$1,570,600.00||73|
|May 2020||Ipsidy Inc.||NY||$485,000.00||85|
|4/20/20||Sensus Healthcare Inc.||FL||$1,022,785.00||53|
|5/5/20||SeaChange International, Inc.||MA||$2,412,890.00||182|
|April 2020||Trinity Place Holdings Inc.||NY||$242,000.00||10|
|4/28/20||Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc.||CO||$40,800.00||6|
|5/7/20||Zivo Bioscience Inc.||MI||$121,700.00||5|
|4/29/20||Greenpower Motor Co Inc||NON-US: Vancouver, Canada||$361,900.00||24|
|5/5/20||Electro Sensors Inc.||MN||$645,000.00||40|
|4/14/20||Nature's Sunshine Products Inc.||UT||$5,400,000.00||834|
*Company has indicated they will return the money.
Previously controversial PPP grantees include a foreign-owned uranium mining corporation with ties to the Trump administration, at least two companies that market their ability to ship U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas, major luxury hotel chains, a fashion model agency, and even the L.A. Lakers.
BACKGROUND: The SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program has been plagued with reports of legitimate small businesses unable to access the help the President claimed would come in “record time”. They have faced a bureaucratic maze often ending in delays and rejection as banks reportedly prioritized those “with the best relationships — not the neediest or most deserving.” A recent survey of small businesses found only 13% of the 45% who applied for a PPP loan were ever approved. Meanwhile, CEOs of large companies have managed to coast through the process. Well over 300 publicly-traded firms or conflicted companies, some worth more than $100 million, have received over a billion dollars in taxpayer money. It’s no wonder the Trump administration has shied away from transparency in this process.
Accountable.US is a nonpartisan watchdog group that exposes corruption across all levels of government.