Washington Post v. SBA questions if SBA can withhold loan borrower information under the FOIA
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 22, 2021) – NFIB filed an amicus brief in the case Washington Post v. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) at the U.S. District Court in D.C. in support of the SBA withholding records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) pertaining to loan status and personal information of borrowers under the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
“Many small businesses have benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “The program was designed to help business owners pay their employees and meet financial obligations during an economic crisis that was of no fault of their own. Disclosing borrower information is not what small employers signed up for and is a violation of their privacy.”
The case primarily concerns whether the SBA can withhold records containing the loan status, Social Security Number, or Employer Identification Number of borrowers under the SBA Paycheck Protection Program. NFIB argues the SBA properly withheld this personal information under FOIA’s exemptions.
The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.