The Small Business Administration allowed special post-9/11 loans to go to Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway franchises and thousands of other businesses nationwide without ensuring that they had been financially hurt by the attacks, according to a report released Wednesday by the agency’s inspector general. Lenders profited by being able to give loans to a far-flung array of businesses, from Florida to Alaska, after the terrorist attacks, reports the New York Times. Besides Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway, the businesses included chiropractors in Texas and Iowa, a Georgia liquor store, a Wisconsin orthodontist, a Nevada tanning salon, a funeral home in Oregon and fast-food restaurants like Dairy Queen and Papa John’s Pizza.
In most cases, the loan recipients did not even know they were receiving any special 9/11-related aid. Rather, the report raised questions about the lending practices of financial institutions involved in the program, the oversight by the Small Business Administration and the pressure Congress placed on the agency to jump-start the program after a slow start. The report examined 59 loans and found that in 85 percent of them lenders did not do the required paperwork to establish that the borrowers had been affected in some way by the attacks.