UPDATED: Hollywood talent agencies, law firms and production companies were among the recipients of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, the massive program put in place by Congress to try to carry businesses and their employees through the COVID-19 crisis.
Among the recipients of seven-figure loans were talent agencies APA and Gersh, as well as law firms including Glaser, Weil; Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp; and Greenberg, Glusker. Also receiving a loan was accounting firm Green Hasson & Janks.
A number of boutique entertainment law firms were on the list, including Felker, Toczek, Suddleson, Abramson; Morris, Yorn, Barnes & Levine; Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher; Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler, Feldman & Clark; Schreck, Rose, Dapello, Adams, Berlin & Dunham; and Hirsch, Wallerstein, Hayum, Matlof, Fishman.
The list, disclosed Monday by the Small Business Association, shows that a cross-section of the entertainment industry drew on the funds as the mass shutdown halted production, closed movie theaters and Broadway and shuttered theme parks. Jim Gosnell, CEO of APA, said via email that the loan “was extremely helpful and much appreciated.”
Other recipients include the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the American Film Institute and Common Sense Media.
Among production companies, recipients included Cinedigm, Ridley Scott’s RSA Films, the Jim Henson Co., Media Res Studio, New Regency Productions and World of Wonder.
Other loans went to Francis Ford Coppola Presents, his lifestyle brand, and Yeezy LLC, Kanye West’s apparel line.
The SBA’s PPP program was set up to provide loans to companies, non-profits and other organizations with up to 500 employees. Firms can have their loans forgiven if they retain their employee payrolls under a set of conditions.
Talent agencies have been particularly hard hit during the pandemic, leading to widespread layoffs and salary cuts. APA last week announced a series of reductions and furloughs, and Gersh instituted pay cuts in April. It was not immediately clear whether that will have an impact on the forgiveness of their loans, which generally extend to eight weeks. The PPP also sets a cap on salaries of $100,000.
Although there has been some controversy surrounding the program, as large chains like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and other entities like the Los Angeles Lakers have returned money as the original congressional allocation was quickly depleted.
But the program also has helped companies maintain their payrolls, as lawmakers sought a way to quickly implement a relief program as the coronavirus crisis forced massive closures during the nationwide lockdown.
The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for the exhibition business, as evidenced by the number of smaller theater chains, including Regency Theatres and Laemmle Theatres, that have received loans. The largest chain, AMC Theatres, has warned that it could face bankruptcy. It is not eligible for the PPP program because of its size.
The Paycheck Protection Program was set up to provide $660 billion in loans since it started in April.
The SBA did not disclose specific loan amounts, but categorized recipients for the range of loans received. Here are the media and entertainment companies on the list:
$5 million-$10 million
Francis Ford Coppola Presents
Motion Picture And Television Fund
The Gersh Agency
$2 million-$5 million
Agency for the Performing Arts
Circus Dog Productions
Cold Weather Productions
Common Sense Media
Digital Domain 3.0
Digital Media Management
Green Hasson Janks
Jim Henson Co.
American Film Institute
$1 million-$2 million
World of Wonder Post Production
World of Wonder Productions
Campbell-Plaza Theatres Inc.
Galaxy Theatres LLC
Laemmle Theatres LLC
Regency Theatres LLC
Ralph Edwards-Stu Billett Productions
Remote Control Productions
The Daily Caller
1 Iota Productions
495 Productions Holdings
Felker, Toczek, Suddleson, Abramson
Morris, Yorn, Barnes & Levine
Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher
Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler, Feldman & Clark
Schreck, Rose, Dapello, Adams, Berlin & Dunham
Hirsch, Wallerstein, Hayum, Matlof, Fishman