Missouri Minute: PPP loans come under scrutiny; Mahomes signs record extension

Hello, MBA readers,

The federal government has released details about beneficiaries of the Paycheck Protection Program, naming businesses that took loans of more than $150,000. The release comes after lawmakers began putting pressure on U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who at first refused to disclose information about companies because he said it could expose borrowers’ proprietary information. Lawmakers pushed to have the information released after criticism that larger, more secure companies were taking advantage of loans meant for smaller, struggling businesses during the pandemic. Less bashful about disclosing financial details Monday were the agents who negotiated a contract extension for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The 24-year-old Super Bowl MVP inked a new deal that will keep him with the team for the next 12 years and make him the highest paid athlete in American professional sports.

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MU looks to help bring broadband to rural communities
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Federal grant to help Missouri schools with lead testing
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Say that again

I think sometimes people might think that these kinds of things only happen in Silicon Valley or in Boston, and in truth, it happens here.”

That’s Jim Gann, director of the University of Missouri’s Venture Mentoring Service, commenting on the growth of technology startups in Columbia, the Columbia Missourian reports. Gann traces some of that growth back to the arrival of Bill Turpin, MU’s interim associate vice chancellor for economic development and president of the Missouri Innovation Center, who came to Columbia in 2014. In 2016, the center launched a tech startup accelerator to help fund and facilitate the growth of early-stage companies in the area. According to MOSourceLink’s “Show Me Jobs” report released last year, new tech firms in Missouri created more than 2,100 new jobs in 2018, higher than the average of about 1,500 per year for 2014 to 2018.

Go figure


That’s how many companies in the St. Louis area received Paycheck Protection Program loans in the top range available — $5 million to $10 million — the St. Louis Business Journal reports. Despite big loans like those, 85% of PPP loans were for amounts less than $150,000. The funds were given out in an attempt to help businesses keep employees on payroll during the coronavirus, and the Trump administration said the program has helped save 51.1 million American jobs, Reuters reports. The names of companies that received more than $150,000 have been made public after criticism that wealthy companies took out the loans when they were meant to help smaller businesses keep staff. All told, over 4,700 companies in the Kansas City area and nearly 6,000 in the St. Louis area received PPP loans.

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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed a 10-year contract extension with the team worth at least $450 million, making him the highest paid athlete in all of U.S. sports, ESPN reports. The team did not disclose financial details, but multiple reports, citing unnamed league sources, said the deal could be worth up to $503 million with incentives. Mahomes was named MVP after Kansas City’s victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV in February, making him the first quarterback in NFL history to win the Super Bowl and league MVP before turning 25. Under the existing contract between Mahomes and the Chiefs, plus the new contract, the quarterback will be with the team through 2031.

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Gateway Biotechnology

This St. Louis drug development startup will receive $2.2 million in federal grant funding, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. The funding will come through a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The company, which is focused on hearing disorders, will use the funding to develop a treatment for tinnitus, a ringing noise in the ear that is associated with hearing loss. The company currently has six employees and plans to expand in St. Louis.

It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.


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