Veritas Investments, SF's largest corporate landlord, was recently granted a $3.6M Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan by the U.S. government's Small Business Administration (SBA) — funds they plan on repaying, which will help bolster some of the city's most vulnerable small businesses.
Suffice to say that the roll-out of PPP loans across the county has been anything but seamless. Restaurant chains like Shake Shack, Potbelly, and the Fiesta Restaurant Group (the corporation behind Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana) have received tens of millions of dollars in relief aid meant to buoy genuine small businesses through these choppy times. Now we can add one of the Bay Area's largest corporate property managment firms to that list — but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn't having it.
I was proud to vote for the #HeroesAct, bringing economic relief to families, honoring essential workers, supporting state and local governments, and ensuring small businesses of all types and sizes have access to assistance.https://t.co/r04tlQwXry— Rep. Juan Vargas (@RepJuanVargas) May 16, 2020
According to KRON4, Pelosi has called for Veritas Investments to return the multi-million-dollar bailout they received from the federal government so that actual small businesses could sequester those funds.
“Neighborhood businesses such as hair salons, restaurants, convenience stores and others that have been hit hardest by social distancing and other necessary steps to stop the spread of the virus are in dire need of financial assistance,” Pelosi said of the subject in a press release. “Larger companies like Veritas, one of San Francisco’s largest corporate real estate management firms, which has billions in assets and access to liquidity through other sources, were not the intended beneficiaries of PPP loans. I join San Franciscans in calling on Veritas to return its PPP loan.”
Veritas Investments, which was valued north of $3B in 2016 with its then-current investor portfolios, was lambasted for applying for a PPP loan this week. When they were approved, tensions only tightened as word of their $3.6M bailout spread.
"The $3.6 million PPP loan enables us to continue to employ 123 front line workers, many of whom would have lost their jobs without the loan, in addition to bringing back 26 furloughed workers," reads a statement issued late Saturday night by Veritas, per NBC Bay Area.
Though, it seems like they've given in to the public pressure and guilt trips; in that same statement, Veritas announced they'll pay back the PPP loan... eventually. They made it a point, however, to iterate they'll not be paying it back in one lump sum.
Whenever those payments are received, the highest-ranking female elected official in United States history is keen on making sure they'll, in fact, go toward assisting small businesses.
“In the spirit of The Heroes Act, which ensures that returned PPP loans will be redistributed to small businesses with 10 or fewer employees, Veritas, by returning its PPP loan, will help save some of our city’s and country’s most vulnerable small businesses,” Pelosi continued in that press release.
Currently, more than 1.6M PPP loans have been approved and tendered by the SBA, amassing a gross dollar value north of $350B in federal aid.
The Heroes Act was passed by the House on Friday.
Image: Wikimedia Commons