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Thousands of Iowa companies get federal virus-related loans

About 6,000 Iowa businesses received loans of $150,000 or more from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, according to a government list released Monday.

The list released by the Treasury Department included churches, manufacturers, car dealerships, farm-related organizations and hospitals.

The largest loans, from $5 million to $10 million, went to companies including Brownells Inc., a firearms accessories company with strong ties to the National Rifle Association and Republican politics, and MCI LC, an Iowa City telemarketing company that has done work for President Donald Trump’s campaign through subsidiaries.

Also included is King Contracting, the construction company founded by U.S. Rep. Steve King but sold to his son in 2003. It received between $150,000 and $300,000.

Competitive Edge, the GOP campaign vendor that is now making coronavirus-related protective equipment for Iowa in China, received a loan valued between $350,000 and $1 million.

Only MCI confirmed receipt of a loan. The others didn’t immediately reply to messages.

Another 52,500 Iowa businesses and nonprofit organizations received less than $150,000 and weren’t listed by the Trump administration by name. That secrecy spurred a lawsuit by news organizations, including The Associated Press.

Congress created $659 billion in low-interest loans to help smaller businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic. The loans will be forgiven if employers use the money on payroll, rent and similar expenses.

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