At least one of the small businesses featured in an anti-Trump video on the third night of the Democratic National Convention received a loan from the Trump administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to stay in business.
Lien Ta, the Los Angeles-restaurateur who owns Here’s Looking at You in Koreatown and All Day Baby in Silver Lake, was featured in the video, along with three other small businesses that have been hard hit by the effects of the coronavirus.
Some complained that President Donald Trump did not help, or did not understand their businesses. In Ta’s segment, featuring L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, she recalled how one of her restaurants had been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times — on the very day that the economy was shut down (by Garcetti and other local authorities) to slow the pandemic’s spread.
Missing from the story: any mention of the loan Ta received from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Ta posted on Instagram on May 29 that she was re-opening her two restaurants, and thanked the PPP — though she also called it “a puzzling loan, which at this time, offers a limited life line to small businesses like ours.”
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We re-opened both @hereslookingatyoula + @alldaybabyla yesterday, in a regular way, for takeout + delivery. 7 days a week lol. All made possible thanks to our staff + the PPP, a puzzling loan, which at this time, offers a limited life line to small businesses like ours. Reopening under these circumstances and parameters was/is a stressful, almost amusing undertaking. . I think all of my restaurant peers would agree that the swell of guest loyalty has been a beautiful side to this pandemic, almost impossible to describe. For us, that’s Sam & Dora, Albert, Ted, Tyler, Alice, Allister, Jason & Sasha, Ken & Melody, Yvonne & Tracy, Dixon, Efrain, Jill, Johnna, Mahdi, Ivan, Laurel, Judith, all the Mikes, the Stephanies … I mean, there are so many. Yesterday, HLAY’s re-opening was a modest reunion with Manuel, one of my fav regulars who ate shakshuka every brunch and chugged glasses of wine with his book. Gregg & Stacey picked up curbside! Alison took home two packages of pulled pork BBQ. . But, like, we are ALL still working in tandem with fear, including our own. As we ought to be. Many others not able to get takeout or acquire their essentials for several unique reasons. I read no fewer than a dozen articles a day about why we should limit our exposure to a bunch of ppl — why this is a non-negotiable. . And now, today, we receive sudden word that we can reopen our dining rooms at 60% capacity (an article right next to the other articles) … well, this just adds to the puzzle, where the pieces don’t fit, there is no manual, and no clear indication of a picturesque outcome. . As much as we’ve heard from so many of you, how you “can’t wait to get back inside and sit at the bar again when this is all over” (and God do we love you ❤️) … I can’t say with any certainty that any of this is over yet. So, for now, we’ve got to try and work out this takeout model. Day #1 was okay, Day #2 was all right, tomorrow will be Day #3! We are all safe, we are learning a lot, we are eating biscuits. Sometimes I am sent home with a mai tai to-go! These are all victories, too! None of them haphazard decisions. Let’s take care of LA together. . Storefronts of my two babies by @kenpaints
The next day, Black Lives Matter protests swept through the city — and with them, riots, also unmentioned in the video. The city was shut down again, with mandatory curfews and retail districts boarded up, patrolled by the National Guard.
Here’s Looking at You announced last month that it was closing again — perhaps permanently. The Los Angeles Times reported that “sales from takeout were not enough to sustain the business, even after the restaurant received a PPP loan.”
Whether the PPP loan was enough or not, it remains an example of a Trump administration program that aimed to help.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.