A spreadsheet released by the Small Business Association on Monday revealed that Kanye West’s Yeezy brand received an apparent $2 million dollars in federal loans during the coronavirus crisis. Filed as Yeezy Brand LLC, the company is listed under a spreadsheet of companies that received more than $150 million from the SBA Paycheck Protection Program, where it was listed as having gotten between $2 and $5 million in aid.
The revelation came as no surprise to the millions of Americans that have still not secured unemployment or small business loans during the pandemic. The program, which Trump announced expansions to back in March, provided much-needed financial aid during one of the greatest financial crises in modern history. Loans opened up in early-April, but the program ran out of money within a matter of weeks as thousands of small businesses around the country were forced to close for good after being unable to secure a loan.
West’s Yeezy company is one of many larger businesses that were able to secure SBA loans through the emergency funding. Other businesses like Ruth’s Chris, a popular steakhouse chain, managed to secure as much as $20 million in loans through the program. The company quickly returned the money once word got out that they had received a small business loan, though, as millions of people took to social media to express their outrage.
This would not be the first time that Kanye has had financial troubles in relation to the Yeezy brand. In 2016, after the release of his album The Life of Pablo, West revealed that he was in $53 million dollars worth of debt after going into business with Adidas. Since then the company has managed to get itself out of debt, and Kanye’s line of clothing and shoes just announced a new partnership with GAP, presumably to make an affordable line of the egregiously priced clothing items.
Last year, Kanye revealed that he had, in fact, gotten out of the insurmountable debt that he was reportedly in during 2016. The U.S. Department of the Treasury revealed that it would be releasing the information on which businesses got loans and for how much in order to increase transparency and provide the American people with information about where the money went, and how much. Only companies that were granted more than $150 thousand dollars were listed in the spreadsheet.