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A Texas hotel group received $68 million in PPP loans. Other businesses waited weeks for $1.



TX – During a brief window in the first round of business aid through the CARES Act, major hotel chains used networks of affiliated companies to draw tens of millions of dollars in low-interest loans, contributing to the quick depletion of the funds.

The program’s initial $349 billion ran dry within 13 days, locking out many small businesses from the aid needed to keep workers employed, and the Small Business Administration recalibrated and imposed a $20 million limit on businesses owned by a single corporate entity.

For many small businesses, however, the adjustment came too late, leaving them to struggle for weeks before Congress authorized more money for the program. By the end of April, nearly a month after the Paycheck Protection Program launched, 40 percent of Houston-area small businesses who had applied for the loans had yet to receive them, according to a survey conducted by the Greater Houston Partnership, a business-financed economic development group.