McConnell’s Wife’s Family Business Received Up To $1 Million In PPP Loan
According to Newsweek, data published on Monday by the Small Business Administration shows that a shipping business started by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s family received up to $1 million in loans earmarked for helping small businesses amid the pandemic.
- Foremost Group, started by Chao’s parents in New York in 1964 and currently run by her father and sister, was approved for a Paycheck Protection Program loan on April 15.
- The report does not show the exact amount of the loan but says it was between $350,000 and $1 million and enabled the company to save 20 jobs.
- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a news release announcing the data that the average loan amount was $100,000 and that the program supported “more than 51 million jobs and over 80 percent of all small business employees.”
- The Treasury Department sustained criticism after “reports of large businesses receiving loan approvals from a program that was theoretically designed to assist small businesses,” which “frustrated many within the latter group.”
The SBA said it approved about 4.9 million loans through the PPP program. The loan amount approved for Foremost Group is part of the second group of loans—those valued at $150,000 and above—that account for nearly 75 percent of PPP loan dollars allocated by the SBA. The SBA's news release said some loans reached values as high as $10 million.
The news outlet noted that Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), has come under scrutiny before for her relationship to the company, finding herself the subject of an ethics investigation launched by the House of Representatives.
She also “received criticism for possessing stocks after she said she would sell them before stepping up to lead the Department of Transportation.”