Big names benefits from loan meant for small operations

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The US government has released the names of businesses that received more than $150,000 in federal stimulus loans, the loans is meant for small businesses to stay afloat during the Covid 19 lockdown but the record shows the big boys are the major beneficiaries.

According to a publication, artnetnews, Artists, museums, and galleries across the US have taken advantage of the government’s Paycheck Protection Program—better known as PPP—which provides loans to small businesses, individual artists, and nonprofits as an incentive to keep workers on staff during the lockdown. 

The loan is targeted at organizations with fewer than 500 employees to apply for the loans—which will largely be forgiven by the government, but not all of the program’s recipients have been small operations according to artnetnews.

Jeff Koons, one of the major studio which has employed more than 100 assistants at a time, was awarded $1 million to $2 million, according to data released by the Treasury Department. Meow Wolf, the trippy experiential art collective in New Mexico, which laid off more than half of its staff in April, was offered between $5 million and $10 million in PPP funds.

Pace galleries and, Gagosian ( furloughed its part-time staffers in April), and David Zwirner also laid off nearly 40 employees this month) and they took in between $2 million and $5 million. On the lower end, Blum and Poe, Hauser and Wirth, 303 Gallery, Gladstone Gallery, Jack Shainman Gallery, Lisson Gallery, Luhring Augustine, Marlborough Gallery, Matthew Marks, and Kasmin were each given $350,000 to $1 million. 

The Whitney Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art each received between $5 million to $10 million in government aid. (The Whitney laid off 76 employees earlier this spring; SFMOMA furloughed hundreds of staff members in March, then cut 55 more in June.)

The Trump administration released the list of businesses that were awarded more than $150,000 in PPP aid yesterday, following numerous calls by Democratic politicians demanding more transparency into the stimulus awarding process. Exact loan figures were not disclosed; instead, businesses were sorted into ranges—$5 million to $10 million on the high end, down to $150,000-$350,000.

The released information represents nearly three-fourths of the total aid money distributed. 

Other notable institutions to be awarded PPP money include the Hammer Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Jewish Museum, which each received $2 million to $5 million; the New Museum, the Rubin Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem were each awarded aid in the $1 million to $2 million range.

The auction house that benefitted includes, Phillips and Bonhams who were awarded between $2 million and $5 million. Artnet also received between $1 million and $2 million.

Here is the the full list of PPP loans above $150,000 here.

Aditional reports by artnet

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