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Treasury and SBA to disclose names of largest PPP loan recipients, but most borrowers would remain unnamed



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After weeks of mounting pressure from Congress, government oversight agencies, and outside groups, the Treasury and Small Business Administration agreed to disclose more detailed data on loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, including the names of businesses who received funds. But while the disclosures would account for nearly 75% of the funds used for the program, it wouldn’t include the majority of borrowers.

The agencies announced late Friday that the names of companies and nonprofits who received loans of more than $150,000 will be released, along with other information including addresses, demographic data, and jobs supported by the businesses. The loan amounts would be disclosed in ranges, not individual amounts, from $150,000 to $350,000, $350,000 to $1 million, $1 million to $2 million, $2 million to $5 million, and $5 million to $10 million. Loans in these ranges account for nearly 75% of the funds allocated thus far in the $660 billion program, per SBA data.

However, most of the recipients will remain unnamed based on the latest announcement, as over 86% of the roughly 4.6 million borrowers took loans under the $150,000 threshold.

The announcement comes after comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin before Congress on June 10 sparked backlash, when he declared the names and loan amounts of borrowers would not be provided, saying they are “proprietary” and in some cases “confidential.” Following the secretary’s comments, members of Congress demanded the agencies hand over loan-specific data to improve transparency of the taxpayer program, also admonishing the SBA for failing to provide government watchdogs like the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with information it needed to oversee the program. Some House Democrats also called for banks who lent through the program to provide information about their processes and loans for the PPP.

The SBA and Treasury’s announcement is a significant move in providing more transparency for the embattled program. At present, the only known borrowers of the funds have been those who voluntarily announced they received loans or had to disclose the loans as part of securities filings if the company was public.

The decision to release dollar ranges for the loans (instead of releasing individual loan amounts for borrowers over $150,000) came as small businesses voiced concerns about how disclosing the loans, which are based on payroll data, might hurt competition. Secretary Mnuchin said in a statement, “We are striking the appropriate balance of providing public transparency, while protecting the payroll and personal income information of small businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors.”

‘Far from full transparency’

However, for many, the policy shift is still insufficient. While those like Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, said the SBA and Treasury “took a step in the right direction” by announcing they will release information for nearly 75% of the funds used, “this is far from the full transparency that American taxpayers deserve,” he said in a statement Friday night. “Even when this data is released, Treasury and SBA will still be withholding the identity of nearly 4 million PPP recipients—that is more than 85% of all recipients, who collectively received more than $100 billion in taxpayer money.” Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also noted the announcement was a “good start,” but said Democrats will “continue to push for maximum transparency from the Trump administration, especially when it comes to CARES Act funds.”

On Monday, House Ways and Means chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), Financial Services chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), and Small Business chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement that the SBA and Treasury’s announcement provided a “minimum level of transparency” that “still fall[s] short of taxpayers’ expectations,” adding “only sharing data on disbursements above [$150,000] is utterly inadequate.”

Indeed, in lieu of names for loans under $150,000, only totals will be released, “aggregated by zip code, by industry, by business type, and by various demographic categories,” according to the SBA and Treasury announcement. The agencies did not specify when the data would be released. A spokesperson for the SBA did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment.

In the joint statement, the group doubled down, saying, “Our demands still stand. We want SBA and Treasury to provide us with the names of all recipients of PPP loans, the dollar amount of all loans received, and the names of all applicants that did not receive PPP loans.”

Outside advocacy groups like the Center for Responsible Lending, which has actively called on Congress to demand transparency from the program, are “cautiously optimistic” about Friday’s announcement, Tom Feltner, executive vice president and director of research at CRL, tells Fortune. However, he notes, “this does not solve the structural barriers that have left too many businesses out of this critical program.” Those barriers have, in part, prevented many businesses (especially black-owned businesses) from accessing funds, based on early data.

Meanwhile, transparency concerns have also surfaced over whether members of Congress would disclose if they or companies associated with them got funds through the program. At least four members of Congress from both parties confirmed they had close ties to or have benefited from companies that received PPP loans, Politico first reported. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), for one, said last week she is proposing legislation to “require full disclosure of every member of Congress who may be benefiting from the [Paycheck Protection Program],” stating, “Members of Congress should disclose if they are taking taxpayer money,” she wrote on Twitter on June 16.

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Lyron Foster is a Hawaii based African American Musician, Author, Actor, Blogger, Filmmaker, Philanthropist and Multinational Serial Tech Entrepreneur.

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The young and unemployed need better networks



“It comes in waves,” said Isabelle Risse, a recent graduate of St. Michael’s in Vermont. Risse has applied to more than seventy jobs since graduating in May—with no positive results yet. “One week I’ll send out fifteen applications. And then the next I am so hopeless.”

Risse is not alone. Close to one in four workers between the ages of 16 and 24 is unemployed, according to a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute. There is hope for young workers like Risse, but avoiding a career derailment and a lost generation will require young job-seekers and employers alike to focus more on connection.

More than half of the workforce finds jobs through personal connections. Decades of research has shown that people who use their personal contacts spend less time searching for jobs and end up in higher paying, more prestigious occupations. What’s more, while experienced workers are most likely to find their jobs through weaker ties—acquaintances, former colleagues, someone from the gym—that isn’t true for workers who are looking for their first real job.

Young workers are more likely to find a job through their closest connections, particularly their parents. This tendency is heightened during periods of increased unemployment, according to research by economists Francis Kramarz and Oskar Nordström Skans.

Still, despite the importance of turning to people who they know for help, young workers are less likely to use their personal contacts to look for work. A nationally representative study of unemployed workers by the Urban Institute found that only 23.6% of 16-to-24-year-olds looking for work reached out to family or friends for help, far less than older workers in a job search. There are at least three reasons why. 

The young are often reluctant to network

Risse eventually realized that if she wanted to find a job, she needed to do more than look on websites like Indeed and Idealist, but upon considering that notion, she says, she “was almost put off by it.” Similarly, Kaitlyn Zorilla, a 23-year-old living with her parents in Vista, Calif., said that between COVID, the election, and the holidays, “I’ve been reluctant to reach out to people that I know less. It’s just a burden to be asking people for help right now.”

Young or not, many people feel an aversion to the idea of “networking.” When 308 adults were asked to recall a time when they either networked for professional gain or just to socialize, participants who recalled a professional networking experience were twice as likely as their socializing counterparts to think of cleansing words like “wash” when presented with a word completion exercise (such as “w_sh”). The implication was that the sheer idea of networking made them feel dirty, according to the study conducted by Tiziana Casciaro of the University of Toronto, Francesca Gino of Harvard, and Maryam Kouchaki of Northwestern University. This difficult social moment we are all living through likely intensifies our moral aversion.

One way of overcoming this, according to the research trio, is to adopt a learning mindset and think of reaching out as an opportunity to grow. Another is to think of making these connections in terms of what you have to give. While the trio’s work suggests that less seasoned workers often feel as though they have little to offer, asking for help is giving someone else an opportunity to be of service and to tap into their own sense of expertise, even mastery.

Young people’s networks are limited in scope

But even when young professionals are able to overcome the drag of moral resistance, they face yet another challenge: Their networks often don’t have the reach that they need. “You’re on your own,” reflected Veronica Wells, 24, who had been working as a waitress prior to COVID. “I’ve been on my own for a while, since I was 17. I have to build up my own network.” 

Unsurprisingly, networks of the young and unemployed are often filled with other people who are the same age, also looking for a job. As Zorilla put it, “When all your other connections are also unemployed 22- or 23-year-olds, it doesn’t really help that much.” Moreover, in a recent study, my colleagues Balazs Kovacs, Nicholas Caplan, Samuel Grob and I found that networks have shrunk by more than 17% during COVID—shrinking just when young workers need them most.

The rate of joblessness among those under 24 is twice that of workers beyond this point, which is to say that if we want to lift the economy, young workers need help. Unemployment is “stunting social emotional learning and connectivity,” according to Marina Marmolejo, the executive director of Dream Kit, an organization that helps unstably housed youth find employment. “That means they don’t have people in their network that can help them to the next phase.”

Having a job makes you better at getting a job

This goes for recent college graduates as much as those who are low-income and job-insecure. Many of the skills that are essential for landing a job and succeeding in the workplace—the importance of listening, the power of knowing when to ask follow-up questions, the know-how to work in a team—are learned through social interactions on the job. This is where the young find more critical social connections as well. Mentors and sponsors are usually found at work.  

The network failures facing young people will have significant effects that extend far beyond the pandemic if they go unaddressed. Lisa Kahn, a professor at the University of Rochester, found that the economic consequences of graduating during a recession persist for more than 15 years—because young workers don’t have the opportunity to learn as they work.

Reasons for hope

Despite the seemingly grim circumstances, Marmolejo is “really excited about the future. Youth who weren’t able to access the job market can now access it through technology.” Young potential employees are bored and desperate to have the opportunity to contribute. “I sit in my room all day, sitting in the same position in bed, staring at my closet door for eight months,” said. Zorilla. “I’m willing to work as an office assistant now in a field that I’m not passionate about, just because I need a job.”

For companies struggling with online work, a large untapped pool of the digitally native should be viewed as a huge opportunity. Having Zoom meeting schedulers and greeters, talent who know how to market and deliver customer service online, and those with the creative drive to devise clever online alternatives to holiday parties or client mixers would make companies better and give young workers an opportunity to engage and keep growing. As Marmolejo argued, “There are opportunities to keep that learning cycle going. The virtual world is too accessible not to invite youth in.” 

Heading off the negative long-term implications of unemployment for young workers, starts with creating opportunities to connect. Young workers need an opportunity to meet people who can help them think through a career, not just give them a job. They need the chance to learn social skills that are critical for careers. For those who are firmly entrenched in a job, the young have a lot to teach employers too—about the virtual world and the real one as they see it. Solving this massive and multi-pronged problem begins with connection. If you are young and looking for work, I heartily recommend that you ask for help. If you are up the career ladder, stand ready to offer it.

Marissa King is professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, where she developed and teaches the course entitled Managing Strategic Networks. Her book, Social Chemistry: Decoding the Patterns of Human Connection, is coming out in January. Watch an interview with King here.

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