The Ohio Democratic Party received a loan as part of the Paycheck Protection Program designed to provide coronavirus relief to businesses.
Campaign finance reports show that the loan, amounting to $333,867, was approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration on April 30, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
In May, a tweet critical of the Trump administration’s program was posted on the group’s official Twitter account.
“With so many small businesses shut out from receiving PPP loans — while nearly 300 publicly traded companies received more than $1 billion from the program — local governments across Ohio are stepping up to help small businesses, which are often the center of their communities,” the tweet read.
With so many small businesses shut out from receiving PPP loans — while nearly 300 publicly traded companies received more than $1 billion from the program — local governments across Ohio are stepping up to help small businesses, which are often the center of their communities. https://t.co/Tfew5kq9Bm
— Ohio Dems (@OHDems) May 19, 2020
A spokeswoman for the state party defended the loan, noting that 20 jobs were saved.
“The purpose of the Paycheck Protection Program is to help organizations cover payroll and benefits, and that’s precisely what it has been used for — to ensure our entire team continued to work and earn a paycheck and retain their health coverage during an unprecedented public health crisis,” Kirstin Alvanitakis said in a statement.
The Ohio Republican Party criticized the Ohio Democratic Party over the news.
“We did not need to apply for these funds. Under the leadership of Chairman Timken, our financial situation is strong, and we were never at risk of not making payroll,” Ohio GOP spokesman Evan Machan said in a statement. “The ODP took these funds to use for campaigning which could have gone to small businesses, but at the same time publicly lamented against the program. David Pepper (Ohio Democratic Chairman) is a hypocrite and should pay back these loans immediately.”
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