Kanye West’s apparel brand, Yeezy, received a multimillion-dollar loan through the federal government’s Payment Protection Program (PPP), according to data released by the Treasury Department on Monday.
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The loan to Yeezy LLC was worth between $2 and $5 million and is listed as saving 106 jobs. The 1 percent loan can be forgiven if small business owners spend at least 60 percent of it on payroll costs.
PPP was established in May to provide relief to small businesses with less than 500 employees. Several retail and apparel companies, like Yeezy, received loans through the program as the coronavirus pandemic shut down stores nationwide.
West started Yeezy in 2009, and Forbes officially named him a billionaire in April thanks to his stake in the company. The New York Times reported last year that the brand did $1.3 billion in revenue in 2019 alone and that West earns 5 percent royalties on net sales.
Yeezy LLC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The 21-time Grammy winner also announced on July 4 that he is running for president in 2020 just four months before the election, tweeting that “we must now realize the promise of America.”
Other business leaders like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban expressed their support for West’s presidential aspirations, but Pitchfork reports the FEC doesn’t have any paperwork on file for a 2020 run by West. The deadline to get on the ballot in several states has also already passed.
West first claimed he would run for president at the MTV VMAs in August 2015 and has talked about it intermittently since then. He said at Fast Company's Innovation Festival last year that he was considering a run for president in 2024 under the name Christian Genius Billionaire Kanye West.
Both West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, have met with President Donald Trump at the White House multiple times to discuss criminal justice reform. The celebrity couple has received some criticism for flaunting their wealth during the coronavirus pandemic.
West sent a congratulatory tweet last month to his wife for "officially becoming a billionaire." Forbes disputed the claim last month, claiming that Kardashian West is actually worth $900 million.