Federal Judge Won’t Release PPP Data Until After Election

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Federal district court judge Maxine M. Chesney has dismissed the American Small Business League’s summary judgement motion for the release of the names of all firms that received PPP loans. The ASBL has requested the information under the Freedom of Information Act. Judge Chesney vacated the ASBL’s summary judgement motion, which means that it’s highly unlikely that the names of firms that received PPP loans $150,000 or less will be released before the election.

ASBL President Lloyd Chapman stated “I’m very disappointed at Judge Chesney’s ruling. There’s no exemption in the Freedom of Information Act that would be applicable to this data and I think it should have been released for that reason. I suspect there’s something in this data that the Trump administration is very concerned about. That’s why they refused to release it. The Administration’s excuse of privacy doesn’t hold water because when the applicants filled out the forms, it stated that the information would be public.”

The information that has been released so far in the PPP program showed that a significant number of publicly traded companies, billionaires, and large businesses received PPP loans. ASBL estimates that legitimate small businesses, with under a hundred employees, may have received as little as three percent of the total four trillion dollars that the government has allocated for economic stimulus.

“Census Bureau data indicates 89% of all US firms have twenty employees or less. They’re responsible for 97% of all net new jobs,” Chapman continued, “and that’s who should have received the vast majority of this money. That didn’t happen and I think that’s going to result in a significant negative downturn in the middle class economy.”

The Washington Post, New York Times, Dow Jones, Bloomberg LP, ProPublica and the Center for Public Integrity have also filed suit for the PPP data. That case will be heard in Washington D.C.

ASBL anticipates that after the election the information will be released.

For more information:

Lloyd Chapman – lcfoia@asbl.com - 707-789-9575

Karl Olson – kolson@cofolaw.com - 415-409-8900