The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a federal government loan “designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.”
So North Carolinians might be surprised to discover that it is also being used to supplement the incomes of several progressive organizations.
The program, signed into law by President Trump on March 27, was designed to help keep the economy going by allowing companies to keep employees on their payrolls despite government-mandated shutdowns. It is part of a bipartisan package designed to help keep the economy going through the coronavirus crisis
But, according to a report compiled by the Raleigh News & Observer based on data from the Small Business Administration, over a dozen progressive groups have used it as a tool to get taxpayers to fund their advocacy. Each of the groups has earned a spot on Mapping the Left for their leftwing advocacy. See the table below for a list of those organizations and links to their entries on Mapping the Left.
|Table 1: NC progressive groups that have taken out PPP loans/grants|
|Organization||City||Loan Range||Blueprint NC?|
|ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation||Raleigh||$150,000 – $350,000||Yes|
|Appalachian Voices||Boone||$350,000 – $1 million||Yes|
|Blueprint NC||Raleigh||$150,000 – $350,000||Yes|
|Democracy North Carolina||Morrisville||$150,000 – $350,000||Yes|
|EducationNC||Raleigh||$150,000 – $350,000||No|
|Legal Aid of North Carolina||Raleigh||$2 – 5 million||No|
|Mountain True||Asheville||$150,000 – $350,000||No|
|North Carolina Conservation Network||Raleigh||$150,000 – $350,000||Yes|
|North Carolina Justice Center||Raleigh||$350,000 – $1 million||Yes|
|North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association||Raleigh||$150,000 – $350,000||No|
|Planned Parenthood (South Atlantic)||Raleigh||$2 – 5 million||Yes|
|Southern Coalition for Social Justice||Durham||$150,000 – $350,000||Yes|
|Southern Vision Alliance||Durham||$150,000 – $350,000||No|
|TOTAL||$6.05M – $15.15M|
Data Sources: News & Observer and the Small Business Administration
To underline the political nature of those organizations, a majority of the groups on the list have been aligned with Blueprint NC (including, obviously, Blueprint NC itself). Blueprint NC is probably best known for its infamous 2013 “eviscerate” memo in which they laid out a campaign strategy for progressives to “cripple” their political opponents and regain power in North Carolina.
To make matters worse, if those groups can document that at least 60% of the loans were used for payroll, the loans will be fully forgiven. Of course, money is fungible, so they can use taxpayer money to make payroll while using other funds for their advocacy.
The Progressive Pulse recently put out an editorial complaining about how it was hard for some small businesses to access PPP loans. Perhaps a first step in freeing up that money is for progressive groups to stop taking in millions of dollars in PPP funds for themselves.
Notably, neither the Civitas Institute nor the John Locke Foundation – North Carolina’s two leading free-market voices – sought PPP funds.