Companies participating in the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) can look to the SBA’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) protocol to determine what information may be accessible by the public. Participation in these programs has fluctuated as Treasury and SBA guidance on loan eligibility has evolved. Public companies, holding companies with both US and foreign operations, small businesses backed by private equity owners, restaurant chains or franchises, and large nonprofits, even if they meet the formal legal requirements to receive PPP loans, have sparked concerns about program eligibility, especially as many smaller, less well-capitalized “mom and pop” businesses did not receive funding in the first round of SBA PPP lending before the initial funding was exhausted. Congress has included provisions for oversight and transparency into the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and related legislation. As part of this transparency, federal agencies, such as the SBA may be subject to FOIA requests. Below is a summary of the applicable guidelines.
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