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Kanye West’s Yeezy company received more than $2 million through the Paycheck Protection Program, the Small Business Administration disclosed on Monday.
Yeezy, an LLC formed by the musician and clothing designer, received a loan between $2 million and $5 million, according to the SBA. The company disclosed that it saved 106 jobs because of the program, meant to help businesses struggling during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Passed in May, the PPP is meant to serve as a lifeline for small businesses battered by the pandemic in an effort to save jobs while employers are financially struggling. The loans are forgivable if businesses spend the funds on eligible costs, but the amount of forgiveness is reduced if a company reduces the headcount of full-time employees or cuts pay by more than 25 percent.
The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program let most companies with 500 or fewer employees apply for loans to cover the cost of eight weeks of payroll. The PPP loans cover up to two and a half times the company’s average monthly payroll costs, up to $10 million with a cap of $100,000 per employee. Sole-proprietorships, independent contractors and some self-employed workers were also eligible — and because contractors could apply on their own, their payroll costs couldn’t be included in the application from the company with which they work. After the first round of funds were quickly spoken for and news broke that some large companies, like Shake Shack, had taken funds, the government advised businesses to consider their “ability to access other sources of liquidity” and whether the loan was really necessary before applying.
As for West, the musician made headlines over the weekend when he announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidency with fewer than four months before the election. “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States,” West tweeted Saturday evening. The declaration was somewhat of a surprise as West in mid-April again offered his full-throated support for Donald Trump. West has been a staunch supporter of the president for years.
A rep for West did not immediately reply to a request for comment concerning the PPP loan.
Ashley Cullins contributed to this report.
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