Skip to Content

Ruidoso Downs, Luby’s, Alamo Drafthouse among borrowers from federal small-business relief fund

Ruidoso Derby Winner Hotsempting
Ruidoso Downs
Ruidoso Downs is home to one of the richest quarterhorse races in the world

WASHINGTON, DC — After withering pressure from lawmakers, the federal government on Monday released data on hundreds of thousands of borrowers from the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program — the main relief vehicle for small and mid-size companies suffering from the pandemic lockdowns.

More than 4.8 million small businesses tapped more than $520 billion in potentially forgivable loans through the program — a central pillar of the $2 trillion emergency economic relief efforts deployed in March to keep the economy afloat as the pandemic led to mass shutdowns of businesses around the country.

In New Mexico, the Ruidoso Downs racetrack joined the Santa Fe Opera and the non-profit organization that puts on the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to be among the thousands of New Mexico businesses that received loans of $1 million or more.

The list in New Mexico also included tribal casinos and hotels, an elite private school in Albuquerque, restaurants, breweries, oil companies, electric co-ops, law firms, churches, two of the state’s well-known newspapers, a few rural hospitals, dental and dermatology offices and a consulting company co-founded by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham more than a decade ago.

In Texas, nearly 6,300 companies received loans from the federal government valued at more than $1 million, including a large number of well-known restaurant groups like the Luby’s cafeteria chain, which stated the loan allowed it to retain 500 jobs.

Other notable Texas recipients included the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who launched his political career on conservative talk radio, also received a loan for his Houston-based broadcasting company.

But the spectrum of businesses receiving loans crossed practically every segment of the Texas economy. Included in the data were car dealerships, hundreds of nonprofit organizations, churches, oil and gas industry support companies, medical practices, zoos, law firms and colleges.

The public may never know the identity of more than 80% of the nearly 5 million beneficiaries of the loan program nationally to date because the Trump administration has refused to release details on loans under $150,000 — the vast majority of borrowers. That secrecy has spurred an open-records lawsuit by a group of news organizations, including The Associated Press.

Article Topic Follows: Bulletin

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo


Associated Press

Texas Tribune


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content