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Reports: Large chunk of PPP loans went to big businesses

About 600 businesses, including dozens of national chains, reportedly received the maximum of $10 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.

WASHINGTON — Editor's note: The related video above was published Aug. 4.

The release of data about recipients of the Paycheck Protection Program has revealed that much of the money went to big businesses, with just a small number of businesses receiving about one-quarter of the money that was distributed. 

The Small Business Administration recently provided information on more than 5 million loans in response to Freedom of Information Act requests and months of legal battles.

The PPP allowed businesses to get loans to keep their workers on the payroll. The loan was forgiven if the business met certain terms geared at avoiding layoffs amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to The New York Times, about 600 businesses, including dozens of national chains, got $10 million loans, the maximum amount available under the $525 billion program. Only 1% of borrowers received more than a quarter of the total funds given out -- around $143 billion in loans of $1.4 million or more.

The Washington Post reports that even though Treasury Department and SBA officials said the PPP mostly helped small businesses because over 87% of the loans were for less than $150,000 as of August, the data shows more than half of the money in the same window of time went to bigger businesses. Just 28% was loaned in amounts less than $150,000.

NBC News found that businesses operating out of Trump Organization properties, as well as properties owned by Kushner's family, profited from the program too. The report said more than 25 loans worth more than $3.65 million were given to businesses with addresses at Trump and Kushner properties.

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have urged Congress to approve COVID-19 relief funds without further delay. Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday that providing economic support is "very important."

Credit: AP
President Donald Trump listens as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks at a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

When asked what Congress should put in a relief bill that could pass in December's lame-duck session, Mnuchin said his priority would be an authorization allowing the Treasury to use $140 billion in left-over funds to provide small businesses with a second round of PPP loans.

The Associated Press contributed.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story said that Trump Organization and Kushner Companies were among those who received PPP loans. The Trump Organization did not receive PPP loans, but tenants paying rent at properties owned by the Trump Organization as well as the Kushner Companies did, according to NBC news.