On December 1, 2020, The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released detailed information about borrowers who had received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ordered the SBA to release the “names, addresses, and precise loan amounts of all individuals and entities that obtained COVID-related loans pursuant to the PPP and Economic Injury Disaster Loans program (EIDL)” in response to a lawsuit filed in May by several news organizations. The information released Tuesday includes the names, amounts, addresses, industry codes, and lender information for the Covid relief program’s roughly 5.2 million loans.
The SBA had previously only released detailed information for loans above $150,000. The agency had declined to release the detailed information, citing privacy concerns. News organizations argued the information is in the public interest, arguing also the PPP loan application notified applicants that loan information was disclosable under the Freedom of Information Act.
Judge Boasberg sided with the plaintiffs, writing in a November opinion that the “significant public interest in shedding light on SBA’s administration of the PPP and EIDL program dramatically outweighs any limited private interested in nondisclosure.”