“I am rich.” - Ross Gerber
There has been much discussion online about West coast investment luminary and sought-after financial commentator Ross Gerber’s firm, Gerber Kawasaki, utilizing the SBA’s PPP loan program in 2020 to the tune of $515,458.
This of course was despite calling the program a “big Trump scam” four days before the loan was approved…
…while boasting about millions per week of investor inflows 3 days before the loan:
…and confirm record AUM a month after the loan came through:
It’s not like his firm was alone in this of course. However, it was interesting earlier this year when Ross “I’m rich” Gerber showed up personally in the SBA database for a PPP loan as a “sole proprietorship” for $20,833 with Harvest Small Business finance, as reported by Zero Hedge (see here). Zero Hedge referenced ProPublica which pulls its data directly from the public SBA database:
An incensed Gerber vehemently denied the existence of a loan application or its disbursement, along with some mumbo jumbo about Wells Fargo and the “SBA site”, while calling Zero Hedge a Russian “misinformation site run by US enemies”.
The Small Business Administration provides data on all PPP loans under $150,000 on a website located here:
A May 4 version of that database that I retained showed the following (other borrower names blurred as a courtesy):
This confirmed the information published on Pro Publica, and indeed shows Loan Number 2485748704 being approved on March 29, 2021 for a Ross Gerber at his address in Pacific Palisades (blocked out as a courtesy), through Harvest Small Business Finance, LLC.
Gerber’s Twitter denial noting no funds were disbursed seems to have been technically correct at the time, with the loan status showing “Active Un-Disbursed”, and an “Undisbursed Amount” of $20,833.
I decided to revisit the SBA data to see if there were any updates on this loan. There have indeed been updates. Loan number 2485748704, found in the downloadable database file here:
now shows that the undisbursed amount is now zero (which I interpret plainly to mean funds have been disbursed), with Loan Status “Exemption 4”:
SBA offers a handy dictionary of SBA terms to interpret this table (found here), which confirms disbursement of the loan:
Note, “Exemption 4” reference an exemption under the Freedom Of Information Act which “shields from disclosure commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential”. In other words, the loan has been disbursed, and is outstanding, but the actual amount remaining is deemed confidential.
Is that it? Is there anything else that us meddling kids can uncover?
Shockingly, while poking around the current SBA database (see file here), I came across ANOTHER more recent Ross Gerber PPP loan, approved on May 12, 2021:
Loan number 8701518904, with this new loan yet to be disbursed. The “Processing Method” of “PPP” on the first loan, and “PPS” appearing on this second loan is explained in our handy dictionary:
The “PPS” tag notes this is a second draw PPP loan. The SBA outlines the process for applying for a Second Draw PPP loan here:
A few highlights are below:
The Second Draw application form can be found here.
I don’t know when this second $20,833 loan will be disbursed, but I hope it is soon, as Mr. Gerber is about to take delivery of a $150,000 supercar and could really use the cash it seems:
Hopefully, the small business owners that missed out on the PPP funding running out early (as described in a CNBC article here) can still afford their supercars.
I can’t say definitively what’s going on here. Maybe Russian hackers are putting fake information into the SBA database. Maybe there is another Ross Gerber living at the same address in Pacific Palisades and they just keep missing running into each other, blissfully unware of each other’s existence. Maybe he just filled out the forms by accident, or forgot. Maybe the PPP Hobgoblins are up their usual antics. Or maybe someone is fraudulently applying for a loan in his name, in which case I’m sure he’s informed the FBI by now.
“I’m sure you’ve never had Crystal[sic], its[sic] amazing.” - Ross Gerber