CHICAGO (CBS) — Money for more testing and hospitals was included in the $480 billion dollar relief package, passed by the Senate Tuesday.
That same bill includes $310 billion more for the government’s Paycheck Protection Program.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Stray Sprinkles On Friday
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CBS 2’s Chris Tye has been looking into where the money that’s already being loaned is going.
Think of this as nearly two decades worth of small business loans dispersed in about two weeks. The only requirement to get these low interest loans: prove you have a payroll to take care of.
One University of Chicago accounting professor who deals with big numbers said he gives the program a passing grade.
Paul Gatuso waited more than a month to find out if he’d get his loan. He’s been making pizzas for 38 years in west suburban Westchester. Gatuso said word of $20 million loans to chains like Ruth’s Chris in a matter of days, because of their strong credit is insulting to true small businesses.
“I don’t think its fair that the big guys get everything and the little guys get nothing,” Gatuso said. “You check your emails hourly. You wait anxiously to hear something.”READ MORE: Young Boy Shot And Seriously Wounded In Bronzeville High-Rise Apartment
That “something” came through into his bank account Monday.
His portion of the $342 billion going out nationally. Illinois getting $16 billion of that, spread over 70,000 loans including Gatuso in Westchester.
“It’s following payroll dollars. Those companies that have payroll, it looks like it’s getting allocated across industries across states across company sizes according to payroll,” said University of Chicago professor Michael Minnis.
Nationally, no industry getting more of that low interest federal loan money than construction. That’s followed by science and technology, manufacturing, health care along with hotel and food prep.
Hotel and food companies granted a loophole that no matter your size, you’re eligible. That’s largely to help franchisees and an industry shuttered. And while the Ruth’s Chris stories are real,they’re the exception not the rule.
“While a lot of talk is about these public companies getting these funds, what I have seen is $300 million of it has gone to public companies. On a scale of $342 billion, it’s not even a rounding error essentially,” Minnis said.MORE NEWS: Family Of Girl Who Died At Age 11 Finds Her Headstone Overturned And Damaged At Cemetery In Hillside
The Small Business Administration is running the multi-billion dollar operation. CBS 2 asked for a list of all companies that have received loans. It could not provide one.