Kanye given millions in federal aid
Soon after revealing himself as a candidate for the 2020 US Presidential election, billionaire Kanye West is in the news again for taking at least US$2 million in government loans for his billion dollar company.
Documents have revealed West's shoe company Yeezy, which took in an estimated US$1.3 billion in 2019 according to Forbes, was given US$2 million ($2.9 million) by the US Federal government.
Yeezy, of which West is 100 per cent owner, took loans worth between US$2 million and $5 million ($7.2 million) as part of the Paycheck Protection Program and said it used the cash to save 106 of its workers' jobs.
The loans were revealed in a report made public by the US Treasury's Small Business Administration after critics of the US government's stimulus package demanded more transparency over the packages.
The US treasury released the names of companies given loans of more than US$150,000 ($215,000) as part of the Paycheck Protection Program on Monday. The Program has been criticised for favouring larger companies with ties to US President Donald Trump's administration. Some 87 per cent of companies were given loans of less than US$150,000, CNBC reports. But three quarters of the total dollars approved went to recipients being given US$150,000 or more.
West has publicly supported Mr Trump, saying, "You don't have to agree with Trump but the mob can't make me not love him," on Twitter in 2018.
He added in another tweet: "My wife just called me and she wanted me to make this clear to everyone. I don't agree with everything Trump does. I don't agree 100% with anyone but myself."
The comments came in a prolific period for Mr West, who made a number of political statements during a series of high profile television appearances. His social media also received extensive media coverage.
Trump all day— ye (@kanyewest) January 1, 2019
On the weekend, West declared on Twitter he was "running for president of the United States". However, critics say the rapper has failed to register his name with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and would struggle to have his name registered as a candidate in all 50 states.
Paycheck Protection Program loans were created as part of the Trump administration's $2 trillion dollar CARES Act to support the US economy through the coronavirus pandemic.
Originally published as Kanye given millions in federal aid