Kanye West’s clothing brand Yeezy, Hollywood production companies received millions from US government loan

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KATHMANDU: From billionaire rapper Kanye West to filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, ventures backed by big-name entertainers of the US have been approved for loans under Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), US government programme that is introduced to help businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a list released on July 6, West’s clothing brand Yeezy received clearance for a loan of between $2 million and $5 million under the PPP, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) informed, writes Reuters. The company said the loan would save 160 jobs.

The PPP, which was passed in May, is meant to serve as a lifeline for small businesses battered by the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to save jobs while employers are financially struggling. The loans are forgivable if businesses spend the funds on eligible costs. However, the amount of forgiveness is reduced if a company reduces the headcount of full-time employees or cuts pay by more than 25 per cent, according to ANI.

Several Hollywood production companies had also applied for PPP aid. Approved applicants included filmmaker Coppola’s Francis Ford Coppola Presents — a lifestyle brand that markets films, wine and other products,The Jim Henson Company — creator of the Muppets, and The Apatow Company, run by writer/director Apatow.

A spokeswoman for Apatow said he received $160,000 under the programme but immediately paid it back, as per Reuters.

The Jim Henson Company, that received roughly $2 million, enabled it to keep the entire staff of 75 workers employed as per the company’s spokeswoman Nicole Goldman.


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