LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Companies backed by renowned artists Kanye West and Francis Ford Coppola were among those approved for loans under a U.S. government program to help businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic, according to a list released on Monday.
Billionaire rapper West’s clothing brand Yeezy has been approved for a loan of $ 2-5 million under the Paycheck Protection Program, the U.S. Small Business Administration has said.
The company said the loan would save 160 jobs, according to the SBA.
The PPP was created to help workers in businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees affected by closures and other measures intended to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The list released on Monday gave the most detailed count to date of who has applied for and has been approved to receive funds.
Several Hollywood production companies requested PPP help after filming ceased in mid-March, putting tens of thousands of cast and crew out of work. The approved nominees included The Jim Henson Company, creator of The Muppets, and The Apatow Company, directed by writer / director Apatow.
A spokeswoman for Apatow said he received $ 160,000 under the program, but immediately repaid it.
The Jim Henson company received around $ 2 million, which allowed it to keep the entire staff of 75 employees, company spokeswoman Nicole Goldman said.
Other applicants for loan from the entertainment world included Francis Ford Coppola Presents from filmmaker Coppola, a lifestyle brand that markets movies, wine and other products,
and esports company FaZe Clan, according to the SBA.
Theater operators, which were forced to close in March, have also called for relief. Theater chains approved for loans included the Laemmle and Regency theaters, based in California, according to the government’s list.
Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Tom Brown