In July 2021, a rumor started circulating on social media claiming that Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Co), who has been a frequent critic of “government handouts” or social programs, had received a $233,000 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to help her restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is not true. Boebert’s restaurant did not receive a $233,000 PPP loan.
Boebert owns a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado called Shooters Grill. This business did not receive a PPP loan. The claim that it did is based on someone’s confusion over an entirely different restaurant, Shooters Sports Grill in Ohio, that did receive a $233,000 PPP loan.
CNN’s Daniel Dale was among the first to point out that this claim about Boebert’s PPP loan was false.
This viral claim, which has been repeated in other tweets, is false: Rep. Lauren Boebert’s restaurant did not take PPP money.
Boebert has a Colorado restaurant called Shooters Grill. This PPP money went to an unrelated Ohio restaurant company called Shooters Sports Grill. pic.twitter.com/LMmFUtXcXM
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 11, 2021
We can fact-check and confirm Dale’s reporting by looking up some data from the U.S. Small Business Administration. ProPublica maintains an easily searchable database that allows people to search for businesses that received PPP loans. We found a number of loans for restaurants with names similar to “Shooters Grill,” but none for Boebert’s restaurant in Rifle, Colorado. We did find the $233,000 loan at the center of this claim, but it’s for a restaurant in Ohio, not Colorado.
The claim that Boebert received a $233,000 PPP loan (while simultaneously criticizing government handouts) is not true. Many of the social media accounts that helped this claim go viral, such as the above-displayed tweet from Brian Tyler Cohen, a progressive political commentator with more than 400,000 followers, have been deleted. Cohen wrote on social media:
Deleted this tweet. The PPP check was for a bar of the same name in a different state. My job is to stop misinformation, not spread it; no excuse for getting this wrong. I apologize to the congresswoman and you all.