- The largest recipient of COVID 19 bailout loans, Trump campaign donor Monty Bennett announced on Saturday that he would return all funds received under the paycheck protection program.
- Bennett’s conglomerate of 128 hotels received a total of more than $ 58 million through the PPP.
- The Ashford Group of Companies said in a statement to investors that it would return all funds due to the “recently changed rules and inconsistent federal guidelines that expose companies to a compliance risk”.
- The news came just hours after the Democratic candidate Joe Biden Bennett was beaten up in an explosive device Tweetand demanded that he return the money so that the government can “give it to the small businesses that need it”.
- Business Insider spread the news last week that Bennett had won the money after making a significant contribution to Trump’s re-election and spending $ 50,000 to stop two of Trump’s fundraisers to help the bailout administration.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
The hotel conglomerate, led by a major campaign donor to President Donald Trump, Monty Bennett, announced on Saturday that it would return all of the money it received through the paycheck protection program.
“The Ashford Group of Companies announced today that all of its companies, including Ashford Inc. (NYSE American: AINC), Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE: AHT) (” Ashford Trust “) and Braemar Hotels & Resorts Inc. (NYSE: BHR) (“Braemar”) will return all of the funds provided by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) due to the agency’s recently changed rules and inconsistent federal guidelines, “said Bennetts Companies in a statement emailed to investors.
Bennett’s decision came two hours after the Democratic candidate Joe Biden beat up and tweeted Bennett“Monty Bennett should return the tens of millions of dollars he received and we should give them to the small businesses that need them.”
Bennett operates a conglomerate of 128 hotels that have received more than $ 58 million through the PPP. Business Insider got the news on April 23 that he had won the money after making a significant contribution to Trump’s re-election, and spent $ 50,000 to stop two president fundraisers to help with the administration Use rescue funds.
A Bennett company spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment on Saturday evening. Two days ago, the Bennett spokesman said the company is still deciding whether to return the money. Finance and Small Business Administration spokesmen did not immediately return requests for comments on Saturday.
A week ago, Bennett announced that he had no intention of returning the money unless the SBA pushed for it. The finance department announced on April 23 that listed companies like Bennett’s would have to return the PPP money after a massive public reaction, as it turned out that some of the biggest recipients were big chains like Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
The fund, which was originally designed to help small businesses cope with the COVID 19 pandemic, was quickly freed from Congress’s first $ 349 billion infusion. Congress held a series of emergency meetings until April to approve another $ 300 billion for the program.
Bennett pleaded for his case until March, when the COVID 19 outbreak shook his hotel conglomerate, which includes high-end hotels like Ritz-Carltons and more humble dishes like Courtyard Suites across the country. He went on the air to say that he might not be able to pay the upcoming $ 4 billion in outstanding debt, and had been forced to fire 90% of the staff in his hotels.
But it wasn’t until he hired two prominent fundraisers for the Trump campaign, Jeff Miller and Roy Bailey to work for the finance department, that he got loans.
Bennett said in a statement on Saturday night that he was invited to the White House with other hotel owners on March 17, a week after hiring Miller and Bailey to promote him.
“The hotel industry was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting national emergency,” said Bennet in a statement. “Hotel industry executives met with the administration at the White House on March 17, 2020 to ask for help for our industry. We are disappointed that with great caution we avoid taking the risk of non-compliance with the changed PPP rules, that our employees, suppliers, communities and other people in need will not benefit from the PPP as Congress intended. We call on Congress, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve to help the hotel industry protect jobs and assets as a result of and after the pandemic following government action severely compromised. “