Data from the U.S. Small Business Administration released earlier this week revealed that more than 40,000 companies got loans of $150,000 or more under the PPP (payroll protection program). One of the companies among those that got millions in coronavirus stimulus was that of Kanye West.
West’s Yeezy got millions in coronavirus stimulus
Yeezy LLC is the sneaker company founded by Kanye West that received millions in coronavirus stimulus. As per the data, West’s company got a loan of $2 million to $5 million under the federal relief program for U.S. small businesses. The company was established in Delaware, but operates in California.
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According to the SBA database, the funds allowed Yeezy to retain 106 jobs. Yeezy lists 160 employees and reported revenue of $1.5 billion in revenue last year.
Yeezy has a manufacturing and distribution arrangement with Adidas AG. West’s company also announced a partnership with Gap last month. A report from TMZ yesterday noted that the rapper recently got approval for a new 10-bedroom mega-mansion on his Wyoming property.
According to Bloomberg, Bank of America valued West’s business at $3 billion last year in September, i.e. before the coronavirus pandemic. The rapper has about $200 million in other assets, including four houses in California and a ranch in Wyoming.
West has been a supporter of Donald Trump. Now he plans to run for president himself. In a tweet last week, West announced that he would run for president this year. However, the musician is yet to file the needed paperwork.
Other billionaires that got PPP loans
For those unaware, PPP loans are forgivable loans provided the business spends the majority of the funds on payroll and other approved costs. If a company removes employees or reduces the pay, then it would have to pay back a reduced amount. These loans are available to companies with 500 employees or less.
The PPP loans were part of the $2 trillion CARES Act, which was signed into law in March. The objective of the loan was to help small businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic without laying off employees.
However, the data from the Small Business Administration showed that several billionaires, country clubs, private jet companies and Kanye West received millions in coronavirus stimulus.
Soho House, controlled by billionaire Ron Burkle, received loans totaling $9 million to $23 million. It applied for seven loans via its different locations, including New York, Miami Beach, Chicago and West Hollywood. Last month, the company was valued at $2 billion after it raised $100 million from private investors, including Burkle.
As per the data, billionaire developer Joe Farrell also received a PPP loan of up to $1 million. Farrell was in the news a couple of months back for renting a megahome called “The Sandcastle” for about $2 million.
Other popular names that received PPP loans were Greenbrier Hotel, owned by billionaire West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice; Gores Vitac Holdings, belonging to tech billionaire Alec Gores; Clay Lacy Aviation; Jet Linx Aviation and more.