Records released on Monday says that businesses that were tied to California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and two other state legislative leaders were among those that received federal loans aimed at keeping small businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the data released by the U.S. Treasury Department a loan worth $150,000 to $350,000 was received by a Northern California winery and hospitality company, named PlumpJack which is founded and partly owned by Newsom, from the Paycheck Protection Program.
Newsom announced that he would stay away from his businesses and rather put his assets in a blind trust managed by a family friend and attorney, before taking office as governor in 2019. He said, “You would have to ask the people that are running those businesses.”
Though the trustee of the blind trust and company did not return emails, federal data shows that the loan helped in saving 14 jobs.
Plus, a Labour Consulting company that is led by state Senate Minority Leader Shannon Grove, a Bakersfield Republican, also received the loan in the same range. Grove listed her as a president and CEO of Continental Labour Resources Inc. and she draws an income of $100,000 from it according to public disclosure forms. 365 jobs were saved on the company because of the loan.
A loan in the range of $350,000 to $1 million was received by a consulting firm that is founded and run by Jennifer LeSar that helped in saving 15 jobs. A family-run real estate Company in Sacramento that is run by Markos Kounalakis received a loan worth $350,000 to $1 million.
Bob Stern, the former president of Centre for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles said that “Any time there’s federal money going to businesses owned by public officials the public should know about it.”