SAN FRANCISCO—On Saturday, May 16, Speaker of The House Nancy Pelosi released a statement asking Veritas Investments to return its Paycheck Protection Program loan. Veritas Investments is San Francisco’s largest corporate landlord company.
Veritas received $3.6 million from PPP, which is a loan from the Small Business Administration. These loans are “to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll,” according to the SBA’s website. In order to qualify for a PPP loan, businesses must meet the SBA’s size standards, which is calculated based on number of employees and varies by industry.
Although this is technically a loan, the SBA will waive repayment if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
Speaker Pelosi called on Veritas to return their loan, stating that “Larger companies like Veritas…which has billions in assets and access to liquidity through other sources, were not the intended beneficiaries of PPP loans.” She went on to say that the primary recipients of the loans “should be small businesses with the greatest need.”
Veritas responded to Pelosi’s statement that same day, May 16, saying that the money allows them “to continue to employ 123 front line workers…in addition to bringing back 26 furloughed workers.” The company continued, “Many assume we are a $3 billion business based on the value of the buildings we manage…however that is far from the truth.”
According to Veritas, the value of the corporation comes from “many investors who are the owners of the buildings in the Veritas portfolio.” They ended their statement by saying that they “are committed to repaying the PPP loan back in accordance with the Federal rules,” and will not keep the money.