Administration turns to private companies to help deal with aid to small businesses

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Jennifer Kelly, spokesperson for S.B.A. said in a statement that “this unprecedented global pandemic requires an unprecedented public-private response, and that every obstacle that hinders, slows down or otherwise frustrates this response is removed in consultation with legal and ethical officials”.

The agency has turned to a range of businesses to strengthen its capacity to handle disaster lending as well as the new $ 349 billion small business loan program that opened on Friday.

On Sunday, the agency’s disaster assistance office released a $ 50 million emergency contract to support its processing of coronavirus claims loans to a Virginia government contractor called RER Solutions. She joins on her S.B.A. work with Rocket Loans, a Detroit-based company that offers online consumer loans.

Rocket Loans is part of a family of companies founded by billionaire Dan Gilbert, who also co-founded Quicken Loans, who donated $ 750,000 to Trump’s inauguration and $ 67,000 to the committee that hosted the 2016 Republican Convention. Mr. Gilbert visited the White House, where Mr. Trump designated him as “a great friend of mine, a supporter and a great guy”.

Last year Quicken Loans paid $ 32.5 million to settle a multi-year lawsuit in which the Department of Justice accused him of making hundreds of irregular loans under the Federal Housing loan program Administration, which cost the agency millions of dollars.

The S.B.A. The contract with RER Solutions, which concerns “data analysis and loan recommendation services for Covid-19”, seems to be linked to a contract of 10 million dollars per year that RER has signed with S.B.A. end of 2018 for similar services related to the processing of disaster loan requests. Rocket Loans was a subcontractor for this work.

“We are stepping up our efforts to help resolve the issues under an existing contract,” said Aaron Emerson, spokesperson for Rocket Loans, adding, “We have been asked to help S.B.A. process requests. ”

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