The Pandemic Economy

Fiscal Responses to COVID-19

Our latest investigations into the efforts to save Americans’ livelihoods in an unprecedented crisis.

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The Big Corporate Rescue and the America That’s Too Small to Save

Girish Patel doubts his small, 20-year-old shop will survive the pandemic economy. Thirty stories above, aerospace company TransDigm has sustained eye-popping profits thanks to steep layoffs and raised over a billion with help from the U.S. government.

What Coronavirus Job Losses Reveal About Racism in America

The catastrophic loss of millions of U.S. jobs is another part of the coronavirus pandemic that is falling disproportionately onto the shoulders of Black Americans.

Tracking PPP Loans: Search Every Company Approved for Federal Loans

The Paycheck Protection Program includes nearly $600 billion in federally backed loans to small businesses, to be forgiven if used to prevent laying off workers. Our database lets you search what’s been disclosed so far.

Can I Be Evicted During Coronavirus?

Even if you live in a state that has not banned evictions, federal rules may still protect you. Look up your address to learn more.

Other Entries

This Company Got a $10 Million PPP Loan, Then Closed Its Plant and Moved Manufacturing Jobs to Mexico

Many American businesses received millions in federal pandemic aid intended to protect workers, but exploited loopholes and rule changes to lay off those employees anyway.

Hundreds of PPP Loans Went to Fake Farms in Absurd Places

An online lending platform called Kabbage sent 378 pandemic loans worth $7 million to fake companies (mostly farms) with names like “Deely Nuts” and “Beefy King.”

The Federal Government Will Now Give PPP Loans to Borrowers in Bankruptcy

Thousands of companies working their way out of bankruptcy are now eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program after ProPublica reported that the Small Business Administration had been excluding them.

How a Federal Agency Excluded Thousands of Viable Businesses From Pandemic Relief

The Small Business Administration refuses to give pandemic relief loans to people who have filed for bankruptcy, even if their businesses can survive.

How the Pandemic Economy Could Wipe Out a Generation of Black-Owned Businesses

Danette Wilder spent years building up her company. Now it has to survive an existential threat to Black entrepreneurs.

New Bill Proposes Stopping Unemployment Agencies That Make Mistakes From Demanding Money Back

State unemployment agencies have been demanding recipients repay thousands of dollars, even if the agency made the mistake and the money’s already been spent. After ProPublica investigated the practice, legislators are trying to end it.

A Deputy Prosecutor Was Fired for Speaking Out Against Jail Time for People Who Fall Behind on Rent

Arkansas prosecutor Josh Drake called the state’s criminal eviction statute “cruel” and “unconstitutional.” Criminal charges against tenants falling behind on rent have continued, even as the pandemic has worsened.

Judge Orders the Release of Data on Emergency Loans for Small Businesses

A consortium of news organizations, including ProPublica, has won a legal fight against the Small Business Administration. It will now have to publicly release the names of borrowers who got government pandemic loans.

Millions Still Haven’t Gotten Stimulus Checks, Including Many Who Need Them Most

As many as 12 million Americans didn’t get their stimulus payment. Usually it’s because their income was too low. Here’s what they can do: Apply through the government’s glitchy platform (if they even qualify), and do so before Nov. 21.

The Fed Saved the Economy but Is Threatening Trillions of Dollars Worth of Middle-Class Retirement

The Federal Reserve has bailed out the stock and bond markets and stabilized the economy with its rock-bottom rates — but at the expense of Social Security and pension funds.

The Trump Administration Allowed Aviation Companies to Take Bailout Funds and Lay Off Workers, Says House Report

Instead of using bailout money to keep workers, at least two companies restored the full pay of their top management.

Now in Government Food Aid Boxes: A Letter From Donald Trump

Democrats say the letter violates the law against using government resources to campaign. It’s just the latest example of President Trump using his office to boost his reelection hopes.

Black Workers Are More Likely to Be Unemployed but Less Likely to Get Unemployment Benefits

More people than ever became eligible for unemployment benefits after Congress included part-time and gig workers, but the data shows that hasn’t solved a huge racial disparity. Here’s why.

How Hotel Chains Got a Slice of Government Aid for Small Businesses

Up to $1 billion in small business relief dollars went to hotel chains with more than 500 employees. One beneficiary was the client of a former aide to Sen. Susan Collins who was among many lobbying her to create this special exception.

Demandaron a miles de prestatarios durante la pandemia, hasta que comenzamos a hacer preguntas

A meses de haber comenzado la pandemia, un prestamista que se comercializa entre los inmigrantes latinos siguió demandando a sus prestatarios, a pesar de que estos perdieron sus empleos y se retrasaron con sus pagos. No obstante, la compañía dio marcha atrás cuando nosotros comenzamos a hacer preguntas.

How the Trump Administration Allowed Aviation Companies to Keep Relief Money That Was Supposed to Go to Workers

One of the most generous programs of the bailout was meant to help airline industry companies keep their workers on the payroll. Some laid workers off first and then got the money anyway.

They Sued Thousands of Borrowers During the Pandemic — Until We Started Asking Questions

Months into the pandemic, a lender that markets to Latino immigrants continued to sue borrowers after they lost jobs and missed payments. But they reversed course when we started asking questions.

The Small Biz Double-Dip: Temp Companies Got Cheap Government Money, Got Paid by Clients for the Same Workers

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses were temp agencies. Many have been able to turn the government loans into profits.

The Eviction Ban Worked, but It’s Almost Over. Some Landlords Are Getting Ready.

The CARES Act was largely successful in keeping millions of American renters from facing eviction during the pandemic. As protections fade, some landlords are gearing up to return to court.

Thousands of Small Business Owners Have Not Gotten Disaster Loans the Government Promised Them

A top official said 99% of funds were paid, but only 55% of small business owners reported receiving the money. Borrowers were told there was a technical glitch, but the Small Business Administration would not answer questions about it.

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