At least two companies on the Trump administration’s list of the largest Paycheck Protection Program loan recipients say they never applied for the program. The program was meant to provide economic support for businesses to continue paying employees through the coronavirus pandemic. Two Silicon Valley businesses—Bird and VC firm Index Ventures—said the Small Business Administration incorrectly listed them as receiving loans for $5-10 million and $2-5 million respectively. “Bird spoke with Citi early on, but decided not to apply for PPP b/c the money was more deserved by small and local businesses,” Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden tweeted. “Not sure how we made the PPP list, but we're investigating.” A host of other Silicon Valley businesses, including Burning Man festival, were on the PPP list.
The SBA, which oversaw the program, said that the list may have included recipients who later returned their loans, but did not comment on the companies’ claims that they had never applied for loans. Businesses tied to prominent political figures including Jared Kushner and several Obama White House employees were recipients of the PPP loans.