Speed Reads

coronavirus money

Trump mega donor and former EU ambassador Gordon Sondland got a PPP loan

Small business owners have had a lot of trouble securing loans to help them weather the coronavirus crisis. Gordon Sondland's business didn't.

Sondland is the founder of Provenance Hotels, a chain of high-end joints that secured a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program, which will distribute more than $300 billion. But he's probably better known as the former U.S. ambassador to the European Union who played a major role in President Trump's impeachment — and who got his job after making a $1 million donation to Trump's inaugural committee.

Provenance Hotels laid off around 1,000 employees, and said it hopes to use the loan to hire them back. Sondland didn't work for the company for the past few years while in the White House, but he'll become its chair again in May after Provenance's president stepped down amid the financial panic. Sondland's wife Katherine Durant remained Provenance's CEO during the ex-ambassador's time in office.

The funding for small business loans doled out under the federal COVID-19 relief package ran dry within days of its passage. It has since been revealed that huge national chains, including some with valuations over $100 million, managed to secure loans while far smaller businesses never made it through the long lines to apply.