facebook linkedin twitter

Cunningham Convinces Wealthy Homeowners to Return $1 Million SBA Loan

May 1, 2020 by Dan McCue
Cunningham Convinces Wealthy Homeowners to Return $1 Million SBA Loan
Rep. Joe Cunningham. (Photo by Mic Smith, Associated Press)

WASHINGTON – A wealthy homeowners association on exclusive Kiawah Island in South Carolina is returning a $1 million federal loan intended to help small businesses and nonprofits after being taken to task by Rep. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C.

Cunningham, who is in his first term representing South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, said it was inappropriate for the Kiawah Island Community Association to take the loan while small businesses across the country were struggling to secure funding through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

The association’s acceptance of the federal loan was first revealed by the Post and Courier newspaper in Charleston, S.C. earlier this week.

In the same story, the newspaper also noted that the association had more than $13.6 million in its bank accounts at the end of last year, and had access to a $2.5 million low-interest line of credit.


The Paycheck Protection Program was created as part of Congress’s $2.2 trillion economic relief package in March, and quickly ran out of money due to the extraordinary demand for relief in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Congress added an additional $360 million to the program’s coffers in mid-April.

After reading the Post and Courier story, Cunningham, who represents the island’s residents, released a statement in which he said he was “incredibly disappointed” the association “took advantage of a program that was designed to offer a lifeline to struggling small businesses.”

“When Congress approved spending billions of dollars of taxpayer money to help small businesses and their workers survive this crisis, it wasn’t meant for giant corporations with deep pockets or wealthy community associations with millions of dollars in reserve funds,” he added.


Hours after Cunningham’s rebuke, the association’s board voted to send the loan back to the federal government.

In an email to association members, Diana Mezzanotte, the organization’s chairwoman said, “As a community we will survive without the Payroll Protection Loan.”

“Therefore, today the board voted to return the loan because we understand that our sacrifices will be significantly less than small business owners who are struggling to survive,” she said.

In her email, Mezzanotte said the association, which operates as a nonprofit, applied for the funding because it expects to see its revenues from gate fees and property transfers sharply decline this year.

She went on to explain that the association’s reserve funds are intended to pay for maintenance and infrastructure projects “and are not used for ordinary operating expenses and any spending from those reserves will have to be repaid in the future.”

Nevertheless, Mezzanotte apologized to the association’s members, saying the association board regrets “the negative attention this has brought to Kiawah Island.”


As for Cunningham, he took to Twitter to say he was glad to see the Kiawah Island Community Association return the $1 million loan.

“Now this money can go to Lowcountry small businesses and workers who really need the relief,” he said.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Congress

May 16, 2022
by Dan McCue
New Democrat Coalition Celebrates 25th Year

WASHINGTON — The New Democrat Coalition, the largest Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives, turns 25 this week; an... Read More

WASHINGTON — The New Democrat Coalition, the largest Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives, turns 25 this week; an anniversary that coincides with but by no means caps, a very busy and effective year for the group. At the coalition’s core is a dedication to... Read More

May 13, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Space is the Future for National Defense, Military Officials Tell Congressional Panel

WASHINGTON — Space was described as the final frontier for defending the United States against weapons of mass destruction from... Read More

WASHINGTON — Space was described as the final frontier for defending the United States against weapons of mass destruction from China and Russia at a congressional hearing Friday. Leading the U.S. defense effort is the Space Force, a new branch of the military that seeks to... Read More

Jan. 6 Panel Subpoenas McCarthy, Four Other GOP Lawmakers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House panel issued subpoenas Thursday to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House panel issued subpoenas Thursday to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers in its probe into the violent Jan. 6 insurrection, an extraordinary step that has little precedent and is certain to further inflame partisan tensions over the 2021... Read More

May 11, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
House Democrats File Amicus Brief in Steve Bannon Prosecution

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democrats are trying to intervene in the upcoming trial of Trump advisor Steve Bannon to counter... Read More

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democrats are trying to intervene in the upcoming trial of Trump advisor Steve Bannon to counter his request to a federal court to dismiss charges against him for contempt of Congress. They have prepared an amicus brief that calls Bannon's arguments "deeply... Read More

May 11, 2022
by Reece Nations
House Passes Resolution to Establish Congressional Staff Union

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives approved a resolution Tuesday evening that allows its staffers to form a union, granting... Read More

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives approved a resolution Tuesday evening that allows its staffers to form a union, granting them the same rights to negotiate with their employers that workers across the country have. The resolution passed along party lines in a 217-202 vote, without... Read More

May 10, 2022
by Dan McCue
Rep. Tom Reed Resigns, Moving On to K Street

WASHINGTON — Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., resigned from Congress Tuesday, nearly a year after he announced he would not seek... Read More

WASHINGTON — Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., resigned from Congress Tuesday, nearly a year after he announced he would not seek reelection in 2022 owing in part to accusations of sexual midsconduct made against him. In a statement read on the floor of the House Tuesday and... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top