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SBA Ordered to Release Names, Loan Amounts of All Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Borrowers by November 19 After Big Media Sues

November 10th, 2020 | by NEWCA

On Thursday, Nov. 5 a federal judge ordered the Small Business Administration (SBA) to release the names of all Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) borrowers and precise loan amounts.

The order comes as a result to a lawsuit filed by five media organizations this past May. The Washington Post, The New York Times, Bloomberg, Down Jones and ProPublica claimed a lack of transparency in the process and were angered that the SBA refused to share date they requested via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The SBA contended that disclosing this information would be a violation of privacy of the companies in questions because the loans were based on the size of each business’ payroll.

Judge James Boasberg, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, disagreed writing in his order: “The significant public interest in shedding light on SBA's administration of the PPP and EIDL program dramatically outweighs any limited private interest in nondisclosure.”

He continued that the application “expressly notified potential borrowers — admittedly in a form disclaimer — that their names and loan amounts would be 'automatically released' upon a FOIA request."

It is unclear why these media outlets are so interested in obtaining payroll details of so many companies and what their plan or reason for disclosure is, but that will likely become apparent after they receive it on November 19.

You can read the full story here.

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