News Organizations Sue SBA for Refusing to Reveal Which Companies Received PPP

It has reportedly been ignoring Freedom of Information Act requests from the 'New York Times' and others.
News Organizations Sue SBA for Refusing to Reveal Which Companies Received PPP
Image credit: Kameleon007 | Getty Images

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Features Director at
2 min read

On Tuesday, five major news organizations sued the Small Business Administration for refusing to release details on how the SBA has dispersed the $659 billion that Congress allotted to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Under the Freedom of Information Act, the New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg, ProPublica and Dow Jones (the publisher of The Wall Street Journal) have asked for insights on which companies received PPP and how much they received, but the SBA has continued to ignore their requests. Now, those publications are filing a joint lawsuit.

The SBA hasn’t argued that they should be allowed to keep the details under wraps, but that they plan on attending to FOIA requests at an indefinite later date. “At this time, the agency is focusing its efforts on assisting small businesses during this unprecedented disruption to the economy due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak," reads a statement on its website.

Related: Which Public Companies Have Returned Their SBA PPP Loans ...

Considering what’s come out so far about big companies like Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse claiming (and returning) hundreds of millions of PPP loans meant for small businesses, it shouldn't be surprising that news organizations are asking for total transparency about where the stimulus funds are actually going. (Businesses have until May 18 to return PPP funds they’ve claimed in error).

“Enormous amounts of taxpayer money are being committed to what is supposed to be a lifeline for millions of struggling American businesses,” said ProPublica General Counsel Jeremy Kutner. “The public has an urgent right and need to know how it is being spent, and whether it is being directed to those most in need. We are pleased to be acting along with colleagues at other leading news organizations to make sure this information promptly sees the light of day.”

Related: Minority-Owned Small Businesses Aren't Getting Stimulus Loans ...

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources
Save on an annual Entrepreneur Insider membership through 5/8/21. For just $49/yr $39/yr, you’ll enjoy exclusive access to:
  • Premium articles, videos, and webinars
  • An ad-free experience
  • A weekly newsletter
  • Bonus: A FREE 1-year Entrepreneur magazine subscription delivered directly to you
Try a risk-free trial of Entrepreneur’s BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan for 60 days:
  • Get step-by-step guidance for writing your plan
  • Gain inspiration from 500+ sample plans
  • Utilize business and legal templates
  • And much more

Latest on Entrepreneur