NBC 3 News: 460 Las Vegas Companies Got $1M PPP Forgiven-Loans Costing Taxpayers $862M 160_PPP_vegas

October 27, 2022 03:13 PM


By Rachel O’brien
Deputy Policy Editor, OpenTheBooks.com


In March 2020, at the height of the pandemic, millions of mom-and-pop businesses on Main Street were shut down during the economic lockdown. Congress created the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) to provide Covid aid to those companies.

There are at least 460 businesses in Las Vegas that had between a $1 million loan and a $10 million loan forgiven, adding up to $862 million in large federal loans forgiven by the Small Business Administration for its Paycheck Protection Program in Sin City.

The loans were administered by banks all over the country and backed by the SBA to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The SBA has forgiven 95 percent of all its PPP loans, in full or in part, including billions of dollars in Nevada. OpenTheBooks.com reviewed the PPP loan data available on the SBA website to find the Las Vegas companies.

The largest Las Vegas forgiven loan was $9.8 million to security guard company Diversified Protection Corp.

CCLV Luxury Hotel Holding LLC, owner of the Waldorf Astoria on the Las Vegas Strip, received $7.9 million from two loans which were forgiven in August 2021 and May 2022.

Lender Panorama Mortgage Group procured $7.8 million and Roman Catholic Bishop of Las Vegas and his successors got $7.3 million. Both loans were forgiven. 

Two Taco Bell franchises, one owned by Golden Gate Bell, got $9.5 million, and another owned by Silver State Bell got $6.5 million.

Professional firms also reaped massive PPP loans that were later forgiven. 

For example, Hutchison & Steffen law firm received two PPP forgiven-loans totaling $2.5 million. The firm has annual estimated revenues of $19.3 million per year

The Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm received a $1 million loan that was forgiven on July 9, 2021. Since inception, the firm represented 100,000 clients and won over $1 billion in awards, according to its website. The firm is estimated to have annual revenues of $23 million.

The Big Horn personal injury law firm received a $1.1 million forgiven loan. 

Did these firms really need a taxpayer subsidy?

In Las Vegas, 152 law firms received $63.2 million in forgiven PPP loans. In comparison, 76 casinos, each with less than 500 employeesreceived $46.1 million. 

Casinos or hotels weren’t even in the top five types of businesses in Las Vegas receiving the most PPP funding: 

Full Service Restaurants






Limited Service Restaurants


Construction Companies



More individual examples:

Contractor XL Concrete Masonry LLC got $5.9 million and ad agency R&R Partners got $5.5 million.

Among the businesses that appear to not have their loans forgiven is unspecified business Nevada Sales Limited, which received an $8.7 million loan and consulting firm LNS Partners, which got $3.6 million.

Garden Fresh Restaurants LLC, owner of restaurants Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation, received a $10 million loan and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after shutting down all 97 of its buffet-style restaurants that took a massive hit during the pandemic. 


There were 118,239 loans given to businesses in Nevada, according to an analysis by ProPublica – the vast majority(109,978) were for $150,000 or less, while 7,390 loans were between $150,000 and $1 million, 626 loans were for between $1 million and $2 million, 219 got between $2 million and $5 million and 24 got between $5 million and $10 million.

NOTE: All data is from September 30, 2022 and is posted for download at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website. 

Learn more at OpenTheBooks.com

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