Who got big coronavirus PPP loans for Roosevelt Island?

A review of PPP loans for Roosevelt Island raises some interesting issues. Like “They got how much for what?” and “Who the hell is that?” Come take a look.

By David Stone

Roosevelt Island Daily News

The Roosevelt Island Daily thanks the Space Cadet for this tip.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a $953-billion business loan program established by the United States federal government in 2020 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to help certain businesses, self-employed workers, sole proprietors, certain nonprofit organizations, and tribal businesses continue paying their workers.

Wikipedia

“Economists have found that the PPP did not save many jobs and primarily aided businesses that were not at risk of going under,” Wikipedia adds.

11.8 million loans went out to over 970,000 businesses, totalling over $800 billion. The money covered payroll and other costs with some or all forgiven as long as the recipients meet certain criteria. Criteria primarily involves keeping jobs in place.

How did that all work out locally?

PPP Loans for Roosevelt Island

Our friends at ProPublica dug up results with a Freedom of Information request, and the shared results for Zip Code 10044 will certainly surprise you.

Nothing herein suggests any wrongdoing, legal or ethical misconduct, but questions will be many.

For example, who knew that BVM USA MODA operated out of an apartment at 510 Main Street? TD Bank loaned them $149,115, supporting 16 jobs. Their work? Women’s and children’s clothing.

A PPP loan amount equals 2.5 times the average monthly payroll costs.

But what about G&R Inclusive Group, LLC. Savoy Bank handed them $189,576, payroll for 12 jobs.

G&R’s website does not show any address, and as a student coaching operation, they do not list any affiliation with any Roosevelt Island schools.

A federal PPP loan helped Nisi weather the coronavirus storm.

Some familiar names…

There are plenty of other names failing to ring bells of recognition, but there are also some clear pluses.

Drs. Kathy Grimm and Jack Resnick both got modest loans. Both, of course, were local heroes soldiering in service throughout the pandemic. And Island Kids as well as the Roosevelt Island Day Nursery, rocked by shutdowns, requested and got loans.

Nisi, Fuji East, Subway and Bread & Butter Deli all sought loan help, and each fought like hell to be open as much as legally possible.

Others may be viewed with less empathy.

The Rivercross Tenants Corp. collected twice, once for each round. In the first, they got $372,149, citing 23 jobs needing protection. Then, in the second round, they scored another $393,565, this time for 22 jobs.

The biggest jackpot, $900,482, went to Roosevelt Island Racquet Club Associates, LP, covering a claimed 84 employees.

Some familiar but unexpected names on PPP loans for Roosevelt Island

Remember Dayspring Church, the deeply in debt group forced out of the old chapel south of The Octagon? The Sanctuary has occupied the space for several years, but Dayspring somehow got $10,000 out of Citibank for just one employee.

But when it comes to churches, bigger surprises show up in the data.

In the first round of PPP loans, Hope Church, then set up in Good Shepherd Community Center at 543 Main Street, pulled in $192,200, saying they had 20 employees. That loan came from BOKF, National Association, an Oklahoma bank.

A year later, transitioned to Mosaic Covenant Church, the took in another $59,937, reporting only 4 employees. This loan came from JP Morgan Chase.

Conclusion

Critics have lambasted the PPP program and many reports cite abuse. While we can’t confirm anything like that, a little walk through the data gives any reasonable person pause… Or, maybe even a little gasp.

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