TAMPA, Fla – Businesses are in danger of closing as local owners wait for Congress to approve a new stimulus package.
While the wait goes on, I-Team investigator Kylie McGivern has searched thousands of state and federal records trying to find out who got the loans that are supposed to keep small businesses alive – both the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge loan the Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.
Keep in mind that the state program received more than 38,000 loan applications but approved fewer than 1,000 companies before the money ran out.
The I-Team first checked the government records to determine which business owners had received more than one of Florida’s emergency small business bridging loans, and then compared them to federal documents showing who received PPP loans.
The I team found that at least 21 companies had received both loans – including two in the Tampa Bay area.
The I team asked Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity how many of these companies could recover and avoid laying off workers. But the state said that taxpayers don’t have a right to know this information – that the information is confidential.
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