From the Wausau Daily Herald: Federal economic stimulus loans intended to jump-start an economy spiraling toward recession were handed out in Wisconsin with little government oversight and no effort to track how many jobs they created or saved.A Gannett Wisconsin Media review of the loan program that funneled nearly $2 billion in cash to the state -- ostensibly to rebuild infrastructure and save high-paying jobs -- found that the cash also flowed to burger chains, hotels and other industries. The government did not spell out specific guidelines or target any specific industry for the loans.
The Small Business Administration-backed loans ranged from a low of $5,000 to a high of $5 million -- the most allowed under the program. In all, more than 6,000 loans were made in Wisconsin, for a total of $1.8 billion, including $260 million lent to retailers....
But the money also was borrowed by businesses and industries with some of the lowest wages in the state. Among the findings of Gannett Wisconsin Media's review of the program:» Hotels, restaurants, taverns and fast-food chains borrowed $258 million as loans were made to convenience stores and car washes, Dairy Queens and Domino's franchises, liquor stores and wine merchants. Hotels in La Crosse and an adjoining community borrowed more than $7 million. Holiday Inn Express facilities in Sheboygan and three other locations borrowed a total of $6.3 million. More than $4 million was lent to Culver's franchises. A Neenah Papa John's borrowed $1.53 million.
» Loans to retailers totaled $265 million. A Fond du Lac convenience store borrowed $630,000. A Marshfield cosmetics retailer got loans totaling $315,000....
» Some loan recipients have shut down. A Winnebago County pharmacy and medical supply chain sold its retail pharmacy business to an Illinois chain, shutting down several stores, the year after borrowing $1.3 million. Two Ozaukee County restaurants that got a total of $1.1 million in loans now are shuttered.» In one case, loans were made to hamburger joints on the same block in a Green Bay suburb. In another, three photography businesses in a six-mile radius north of Milwaukee shared $1.2 million in loans. In another, a day spa in Milwaukee County borrowed almost $2 million.http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/article/20120415/WDH03/204150441/Oversight-federal-stimulus-loans-businesses-lacking?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE
And then this:
The owner of the Culver's in the Green Bay suburb of Ashwaubenon bought the restaurant, in part, with a $559,000 stimulus loan. Conroy Soik said SBA loans played a key role in helping him expand from one Culver's a decade ago to five
The idea of the stimulus was not to let business owners expand their businesses, which includes creating new businesses that compete with other businesses. For instance, the owner of the 5 Culvers are taking money out of other fast food restaurants in the areas. And I don't think the loans were meant to expand individual businesses like fast food restaurants. The loans were supposed to help with high paying jobs, not close to minimum wage jobs.
But hey, it is only taxpayer money.