Businesses and industries all over the world that are not considered essential in the time of the pandemic were forced to cease operations in compliance to health protocols and counteractive measures implemented by authorities. For months now, there is little to no economic activity especially in hot spot countries such as the United States, which holds the number one spot for the most number of active cases.
Employees are unable to return to work and are struggling to provide for themselves without any source of income. As of now, it is still difficult to tell when this will end or when things can start to gradually return to normalcy. This uncertainty has already negatively impacted the small and medium business sectors in the States.
The U.S. Small Business Administration designed a loan intended for small and medium business enterprises to be able to provide for their employees in spite of being non-operational during the pandemic. The program is referred to as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Under the terms of the PPP, the loan should be used to aid employees by granting them their regular salaries, settle accounts such as a mortgage, rent, and utilities. Loan “forgiveness” will be ensured provided that the grantee complies with the guidelines provided by the SBA on the allocation of the fund.
Yeezy, Kanye West’s footwear company, was able to avail of the loan, despite it being valued at more than $1 billion. The grant ranged from $2 million to $5 million and helped the company save 106 employees from being jobless. The program is supposedly unavailable to large companies that are financially capable, but somehow, a few still made the cut.
Rumors circulated that the program prioritized those companies that have close connections with the president, those with personal bank connections. More than 15 companies with market values of more than $100 million have allegedly received millions from the grant. With all the theories and complaints received, the administration released the list of all PPP recipients to be made accessible to the public.
Yeezy has also recently announced its partnership with Gap, making way for a new line of streetwear complementing both companies' interests and brand image that will symbolize "democratic fashion."