BOISE, Idaho (AP) – A high-ranking Idaho elected official who spoke out against using federal money to help people navigate the economic pain caused by the pandemic has received more than $ 300,000 a federal coronavirus relief program to help a business it owns.
Republican Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin accepted $ 314,727 under the Paycheck Protection Program, according to information released by the federal government.
Both loans were received by his Idaho Falls-based transmission parts wholesale business, Idaho Transmission Warehouse.
The paycheck protection program is part of a $ 2 trillion coronavirus assistance package passed by Congress in March. Loan recipients included businesses as diverse as restaurants, dental offices, retailers, construction companies and manufacturers who have been devastated by the virus and the stop orders that state and local governments have issued in the hope to contain it. Non-profit organizations were also eligible.
The program was intended to motivate small businesses to keep their employees or, if they had made them redundant, to put them back to work. The main incentive for companies to apply for PPP loans was the offer of a partial discount if most of the money was used for payroll.
The Small Business Administration said loans involving McGeachin’s business were protecting 35 jobs.
“Like many business owners, our family businesses have been significantly affected by the heavy lifting of government in 2020,” McGeachin said in a statement this week. “In order to keep as many of our employees as possible in our workforce, we took advantage of the partial restitution made available through the PPP. “
McGeachin wrote a column in the Post Register in July in which she denounced federal spending during the pandemic.
“The solution to difficult times is not to increase the size, reach and spending of government, but to decrease these things and put our resources in the hands of the private sector where they can grow and prosper,” a- she writes.
Other Idaho lawmakers who have secured loans for their businesses through the program include Republican Representative Joe Palmer, who received $ 10,300 in loans for his consignment store. Republican Senator Mary Souza received $ 66,900 for her event organizing business, and Republican Representative Mike Moyle, Idaho House Majority Leader, received $ 10,000 as a grant administered by the State.
The libertarian nonprofit Idaho Freedom Foundation, which generally opposes government grants and notes Idaho lawmakers on their fiscal conservatism, received just under $ 130,000 from the program.