The US government just released the names of hundreds of thousands of small businesses that received emergency coronavirus bailouts

The US government just released the names of hundreds of thousands of small businesses that received emergency coronavirus bailouts
A store closure in New York, NY.Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • The US government on Monday released the names of many Paycheck Protection Program loan recipients.
  • In total, the Small Business Administration made 4,885,388 loans, totaling $521.4 billion at an average size of $106,744.
  • The names of businesses that received more than $150,000 — a minority of applicants that represents the majority of funding — were released.
  • Multiple companies listed in the dataset said they did not apply for or receive any funding, contrary to the SBA's release. An official told Business Insider this was likely because of lenders not officially canceling applications.

After pressure from members of Congress, the US Small Business Administration on Monday released the names of hundreds of thousands of small businesses that received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program.

The $670 billion federal program, approved in March as part of emergency economic measures amid the coronavirus pandemic, was criticized early on for a rocky rollout and unclear rules that led to some large companies receiving loans.

The program has made 4,885,388 loans totaling $521.4 billion at an average size of $106,744, according to the newly released data.

The specific data released Monday "strikes the appropriate balance of providing the American people with transparency, while protecting sensitive payroll and personal income information of small businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a press release.

Included are company names and the categorical loan amount they each received (in five tranches), as well as ZIP codes, number of jobs supported, and other self-reported demographic data. Business names will not be revealed for companies receiving less than $150,000.


While only 14% of PPP borrowers accessed loans above $150,000, they account for nearly 75% of total loans issued, the SBA previously said. To secure loan forgiveness, borrowers have 24 weeks to spend the money (originally eight weeks), and 60% must go toward payroll, down from the initial 75% requirement.

The loose self-declaration for applicants also meant some large businesses — including publicly traded ones — had access to the program. Despite companies like Shake Shack and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse returning loans, more than 300 other publicly listed firms received $954 million that they have not returned, according to an analysis by FactSquared.

Large private firms also received loans, according to Monday's data. Many fast-food franchisees for chains like McDonald's and Wendy's took funding, as did smaller restaurants like Chopt Creative Salad Co., P.F. Chang's, and Ted's Montana Grill.

Throughout the day on Monday, several large businesses said they were listed in the SBA's release but had not received any funding. A senior SBA official told Business Insider that this was likely because of the lender not officially canceling a loan after it was returned.

Still, other companies said they never even applied for PPP relief funds, while others appear in the database multiple times, raising questions about the accuracy of the SBA's release.


In June, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who serves as the chairman of the Senate Small Business Committee, urged for more transparency on the program to judge its effectiveness.

"The American people deserve to know how effective the PPP was in protecting our nation's small businesses and the tens of millions of Americans they employ," he said at the time. "That is the standard by which we must measure the success of the PPP: how many paychecks were protected."

You can view and download the loan data here.