While the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged small businesses across the country some were able to take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program. Unfortunately, many were rejected from getting loans for one reason or another and the program has been criticized for its massive flaws. One of those flaws is that many wealthy business owners were able to easily access funds ostensibly earmarked for struggling small businesses. One such wealthy business owner was Tom Brady, whose TB12 Inc. received nearly $1 million in PPP loans.
The data above comes from the Small Business Administration and reflects some troubling patters in loans issued. TB12 Inc. is Brady's side hustle that sells nutritional supplements and workout gear along with hawking "cures" steeped in pseudoscience. It is technically a small business and likely qualified for a loan, but that's not why people are upset about this.
Brady is reportedly worth nearly $200 million, while his wife's net worth has been estimated at $400 million. Did they really need taxpayer funds to keep his side business alive? Couldn't he have dumped his own money into the project? While he was getting that money from the government, many small, mom and pop operations were being rejected for the same funds and going out of business.
It's worth noting, the PPP loans can be forgiven if the business keeps its employees on payroll and their wages remain stable. So the $960,855 Brady received doesn't have to be paid back to taxpayers as long as he kept his staff around. TB12 reportedly has around 80 employees. Again, couldn't he have funded this himself?
This just seems like a rich person taking advantage of a program meant for people who were struggling to keep their lights on and is a really bad look.