Ventures backed by big-name entertainers Kanye West and Francis Ford Coppola were among those approved for loans under a US government programme to help businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic, according to a list released.
Billionaire rapper West’s clothing brand Yeezy received clearance for a loan of between $2 million and $5 million under the Paycheck Protection Program, the US Small Business Administration said.
The company said the loan would save 160 jobs, according to the SBA.
The PPP was established to aid workers at companies and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees hurt by closures and other measures meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The list gave the most-detailed accounting to date of who applied for and was approved to receive funds.
Several Hollywood production companies applied for PPP aid after filming was halted in mid-March, putting tens of thousands of cast and crew members out of work. Approved applicants included The Jim Henson Company, creator of the Muppets, and The Apatow Company, run by writer/director Apatow.
A spokeswoman for Apatow said he received $160,000 under the programme but immediately paid it back.
The Jim Henson Company received roughly $2 million, which enabled it to keep the entire staff of 75 workers employed, company spokeswoman Nicole Goldman said.
Other loan applicants from the world of entertainment included filmmaker Coppola’s Francis Ford Coppola Presents, a lifestyle brand that markets films and other products, and e-sports company FaZe Clan, according to the SBA.