MO Treasurer criticized pandemic spending after getting PPP loans

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When he introduced he was operating for state auditor Thursday, Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick vowed to combat again in opposition to liberal politicians who’ve “used the pandemic as cowl to justify spending trillions of {dollars} of borrowed cash to fund their socialist agenda.”

What he failed to notice was that the corporate he based has been the recipient of greater than $1.3 million of that federal pandemic aid funding.

MariCorp U.S, a ship dock restore agency on Desk Rock Lake in Shell Knob that Fitzpatrick based as a teen, obtained two loans via the federal authorities’s Paycheck Safety Program (PPP) designed to assist small companies meet payroll throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The primary mortgage, for $694,562 and obtained in April 2020, has been forgiven.

The standing of the second mortgage, for $646,071 and obtained simply three months in the past, has not been publicly disclosed.

In line with the database of PPP loans maintained by ProPublica, the primary mortgage was to keep up 54 jobs. The second was to keep up 60 jobs. Loans could be forgiven if firms meet standards that features not shedding staff throughout an outlined interval.

Fitzpatrick’s marketing campaign defended the federal funding, saying the loans have been wanted as a result of “the federal government broke the economic system, and MariCorp U.S., like hundreds of thousands of different companies, was confronted with shedding staff with households.”

The marketing campaign drew a distinction between pandemic aid signed into legislation by former President Donald Trump and subsequent aid signed into legislation by President Joe Biden.

“There’s a clear distinction between the socialist proposals coming from liberal politicians and the Trump administration’s paycheck safety program, which obtained close to unanimous help in Congress with the intention to hold folks employed,” mentioned Steele Shippy, Fitzpatrick’s marketing campaign adviser.

PPP was established in April 2020 beneath the CARES Act. The objective was to supply support to companies with the intention to stop mass layoffs because the economic system faltered beneath the pressure of the pandemic.

A yr later, and a month earlier than Fitzpatrick’s firm acquired its second mortgage, Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, which prolonged the PPP program.

Whereas some economists have questioned PPP’s success, arguing it primarily aided companies that weren’t susceptible to going beneath, this system will get credited with stopping hundreds of thousands of job losses and deeper financial disaster.

From practically the start of this system, politicians — significantly members of Congress — have confronted scrutiny for receiving PPP loans.

Final yr, Republican U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Harrisonville — whose household owns a number of farms and gear suppliers — additionally drew scrutiny for receiving PPP loans. The Kansas Metropolis Star reported earlier this month that Gov. Mike Parson obtained a $6,288 PPP mortgage for his cattle farm in Bolivar.

Fitzpatrick, 33, was appointed state treasurer and sworn into workplace in January 2019. The workplace was vacated by Eric Schmitt, who Parson appointed to function lawyer normal after the resignation of Josh Hawley to sit within the U.S. Senate.

He received a full time period in November 2020, handily defeating Democrat Vicki Englund by 31 share factors.

He introduced he was operating for state auditor Thursday, a day after donating $250,000 to his personal marketing campaign committee.

Shippy mentioned MariCorp U.S. helps practically 70 households and generates “hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in payroll and tax income annually.”

The corporate certified for a PPP mortgage, Shippy mentioned, and accepted the cash with the intention to “defend the households counting on it for a paycheck.

“The corporate used each greenback of the funding obtained beneath this system to pay staff,” he mentioned, “and fortunately has not laid off a single worker throughout the pandemic, regardless of the skyrocketing prices of labor and supplies.”

The Missouri Unbiased is a nonprofit, nonpartisan information group masking state authorities and its affect on Missourians.

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