“PPP loans should be directed first to the small businesses that need it most, especially businesses belonging to minorities, women and veterans who are in difficulty,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Large companies like Veritas, one of San Francisco’s largest property management companies, which has billions of assets and access to liquidity from other sources, were not intended beneficiaries of PPP loans . “
Veritas Investments, which manages more than 250 properties in San Francisco and has a $ 3 billion real estate portfolio, released a statement on Sunday that it plans to repay the loan within two years of the federal government’s allocation.
“We are also a company that needed the loan for its purpose, to meet our wage bill and to employ the people responsible for the maintenance of the buildings that house more than 8,000 San Franciscans,” Veritas said in the statement. . “We understand that some of the loan recipients are asking for a grant, but that is not our intention. We will not keep it. “
Businesses can be granted loans if they spend money on payroll, mortgage interest, rent and / or utilities within eight weeks of receiving a loan. At least 75% must pay employees.
Veritas said the money would allow it to re-hire 26 workers who were on leave due to the coronavirus health crisis. The company had 196 employees before the health order. There are currently 170.
Tenant groups have repeatedly criticized Veritas for using strong tactics to get long-term tenants out with rent controls, including noisy and disruptive constructions and transfer fees, which allow landlords to raise the rent to cover improvements or maintenance.
“We recognize the challenges that all San Franciscans face during this period, and we have worked hard to help our residents since before the establishment of the refuge in place,” said the Veritas press release. “When COVID-19 emerged, we were the first manager to stop the evictions, worked closely with the city to provide emergency accommodation for survivors of domestic violence, and worked hard to care for our residents. We will continue to develop additional programs for our residential and commercial tenants, and we will unveil more in the coming weeks. “
The company added that the investors, not the company itself, own the buildings managed by Veritas.
“Many assume that we are a $ 3 billion business based on the value of the buildings we manage,” the statement said. “However, this is far from the truth. “
To be eligible for a PPP loan, a business must prove that the money is “necessary to support the applicant’s ongoing operations,” according to the Small Business Administration. Borrowers should take into account “their current business activity and their ability to access other sources of liquidity”.
The Treasury Department and the SBA, which jointly manage the PPP loan program, said on Wednesday that the SBA would examine all loans over $ 2 million.
Veritas does not plan to repay the loan money, but other large companies, including Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, have repaid PPP loans. More than 180 state-owned enterprises have received more than $ 670 million in P3 funds and Congress has authorized additional funding of $ 310 billion for a second round.
“I join San Franciscans in asking Veritas to repay its PPP loan,” said Pelosi.
The author of the column J.K. Dineen contributed to this story.
Aidin Vaziri is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]