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Kanye West Gets Millions In Federal Small Business Loans For Yeezy

by : Lucy Connolly on : 07 Jul 2020 11:42
Kanye West Gets Millions In Federal Small Business Loans For YeezyKanye West Gets Millions In Federal Small Business Loans For YeezyPA Images

Billionaire Kanye West received a multi-million dollar loan as part of the federal government’s pandemic rescue fund for his apparel brand Yeezy, according to data released by the US Treasury Department.

The loan – worth between $2 million and $5 million – was distributed through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was set up to provide economic relief to small businesses during the global health crisis.

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On Monday, July 6, the Trump administration released a list of the companies that received the largest sums of money, with other high-end designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang also on the list.

Kanye West Says He's Running For President In 2024Kanye West Says He's Running For President In 2024PA Images

According to a report disclosed by the US Treasury’s Small Business Administration, the loan granted to Yeezy LLC helped save 106 jobs.

However, the loan has raised questions about a conflict of interest given West’s outspoken support for President Donald Trump in the past – particularly considering he just announced on Twitter that he was running for president.

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‘We must now realise the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future,’ he wrote. ‘I am running for president of the United States.’

Not only that, but many have wondered about West’s eligibility for the multi-million dollar loan considering his Yeezy empire was valued at almost $3 billion just last year. West is the sole owner.

The loans are designed to provide a lifeline to small businesses during the global health crisis, and to companies that can’t otherwise afford to pay their staff during these trying months.

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Yet here is a billion-dollar empire receiving millions from an administration its owner has publicly praised time and time again, while other smaller companies don’t even receive enough to keep them afloat.

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It isn’t just West’s fashion company that’s achieved billionaire status, either; in recent months, both he and wife Kim Kardashian West have celebrated becoming billionaires.

West has managed to turn his fortune around, going from $53 million in debt just four years ago to attaining billionaire status in April through his best-selling brand, according to Forbes.

Just last week, West claimed his wife was a billionaire, too. ‘I am so proud of my beautiful wife Kim Kardashian West for officially becoming a billionaire,’ he tweeted. However, Forbes later disputed his claims, estimating the reality TV star is worth $900 million.

Kim Kardashian WestKim Kardashian WestPA Images
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Federal officials said the loans, which totalled $521 billion, supported more than 51 million jobs nationwide. However, while companies such as Yeezy received between $2 and $5 million, 87% of companies received loans of less than $150,000. The average was $107,000.

The Treasury released the list following mounting pressure from Democrats to disclose which businesses received loans, after receiving complaints about banks prioritising big customers, favouring companies with ties to the Trump Administration and giving money to large companies.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Fashion, Kanye West, Music, Now, Politics, Sound, US

Credits

US Department of the Treasury and 4 others
  1. US Department of the Treasury

    SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan Level Data

  2. Kanye West/Twitter

    @kanyewest

  3. Forbes

    KANYE WEST IS NOW OFFICIALLY A BILLIONAIRE

  4. Forbes

    Kim Kardashian West May Not Be A Billionaire Just Yet, But Her Cosmetics Deal With Coty Confirms Trend Of Social Selling

  5. Forbes

    Billionaire Kanye West's Yeezy Received A Multimillion-Dollar PPP Loan