Kanye West’s Yeezy brand borrowed at least $2 million from the government to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, according to government data.
The streetwear brand Yeezy LLC was listed as being granted between $2 million and $5 million from the Paycheck Protection Program meant to help small businesses keep workers employed during the COVID-19 induced shutdown.
The revelation was made on Monday after the Small Business Association released a spreadsheet of all the companies that were granted more than $150,000 from the loan program.
Kanye West, who recently said he’s running for president and previously claimed to be a billionaire, started the company in 2007. The spreadsheet showed that the fashion company out of La Palma, California, would use the forgivable loan to save 106 jobs. At the end of June, Yeezy and Gap announced a 10-year deal for “Yeezy Gap” apparel line.
Yeezy didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.
The government-backed forgivable loan plan kicked off on April 3 and ran out of money less than two weeks later before the Trump administration sent out another round. The program initially faced backlash after billions of dollars went to big corporations, leaving many small businesses behind. Some big companies responded by returning the money.
On June 19, the SBA announced plans to release data on which companies received aid, how much they got and where they were located. Only businesses that received over $150,000 were included in the now-public list.
Lifting the veil on how the funds were allocated is meant to strike “the appropriate balance of providing public transparency while protecting the payroll and personal income information of small businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin in a press release.
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