Trump says he’ll ask bigger companies to return emergency loans
President Donald Trump said he would ask larger companies to return money they accessed from the federal stimulus package because it was intended to help small businesses.
Trump, speaking Tuesday at a White House news conference, criticized Harvard University’s endowment, which was reported borrowing more than $8 million through the program.
But Harvard said in a statement that it “did not apply for, nor has it received any funds through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses.”
“Reports saying otherwise are inaccurate,” the university added in the statement, which was released about the same time as the press conference. “President Trump is right that it would not have been appropriate for our institution to receive funds that were designated for struggling small businesses.”
Speaking at the same news conference, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin threatened “severe consequences” for those who take money from the program without meeting the criteria and fail to return it.
The Trump administration has come under fire after large, publicly traded companies, including national restaurant chains such as Shake Shack Inc., gobbled up the emergency funding while smaller businesses were frozen out. Shake Shack said it would return the $10 million it borrowed.
The Senate passed $484 billion in new pandemic relief funds earlier Tuesday to bolster the tapped-out small business aid program, pay for coronavirus testing and help hospitals deluged by sick patients.