Small Business Majority Urges Mnuchin and Carranza to Release PPP Borrower Information

For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, June 18, 2020

Request comes with a suggested model for protecting the privacy of the most vulnerable borrowers, while also conducting proper oversight and transparency of the program

Washington, DC — Today, Small Business Majority Founder and CEO John Arensmeyer called on U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza to develop an oversight mechanism of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In a letter sent to the Administration, Small Business Majority proposed a straightforward approach to collecting relevant borrower information, while making publicly available only the full data of the highest 15% of borrowers. The recommendation addresses the concerns raised by the Administration and some lawmakers about protecting borrower privacy, while also conducting oversight of the program. 

“It has become abundantly clear that [PPP] needs an oversight tool in place so we can ensure that the funding is reaching the communities and businesses that need it most. The program was allocated nearly $660 billion dollars in funding, but it remains unclear where that money has been spent and whether it’s been distributed equitably. The limited data that is available indicates that PPP loans have largely shut out women- and minority-owned businesses, who lack access to traditional banking relationships,” wrote Arensmeyer. 

In the letter, Small Business Majority recommended collecting data for all borrowers, including:

  • Name of the borrower and business;
  • Business address;
  • Number of employees;
  • Industry type;
  • Amount of loan request and approved; and
  • Current loan status. 

However, to prevent risking competition and privacy Small Business Majority recommends redacting the borrower’s name and business name and address (excluding zip code) from publicly available data for loans made under $150,000. Loans over this threshold represent nearly 75% of all PPP funding, but only 15% of borrowers. Small Business Majority is also advocating for automatic PPP forgiveness for all loans under $150,000. 

Historically, women and minority-owned businesses receive just 4.4% and 5.5% of conventional small business loans respectively, and a recent Federal Reserve survey found that black- and Latino-owned businesses and very small businesses were roughly half as likely to receive financing through banks, compared with white-owned small firms and those with larger revenues. Without transparency of how PPP funds are being distributed, these trends could easily continue. 

“With nearly $130 billion dollars left in the program, we must understand where funds are being allocated to ensure remaining PPP loan funds go to the businesses that need them most,” concluded Arensmeyer.

The full text of the letter can be found here

About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to ensure America’s entrepreneurs are a key part of a thriving and inclusive economy. We actively engage our network of more than 65,000 small business owners in support of public policy solutions and deliver information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about key issues impacting small businesses and freelancers. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.