The claim: Rep. Lauren Boebert received a PPP loan for her restaurant
After the Colorado Republican criticized government benefits at the Conservative Political Action Conference on July 10, online users accused Boebert of hypocrisy, claiming her gun-themed restaurant received one of the 11.8 million Paycheck Protection Program loans issued by the government.
“Please kindly pay back that PPP loan you eagerly took for your struggling restaurant. Thanks,” reads a tweet in response to a video of Boebert. A screenshot of the tweet was shared to Facebook on July 12 in a post with more than 1,000 reactions.
USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook page for comment.
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Posts confuse restaurants
On July 11 Boebert took to Twitter to deny the claim, writing “I DID NOT take any PPP loans.”
Claims that the congresswoman received a PPP loan surfaced online after users confused her restaurant with another restaurant, Shooters Sports Grill in Loveland, Ohio.
According a ProPublica database that tracks companies approved for PPP loans, the Ohio restaurant with the similar name received a loan of $233,305. The owner of this restaurant is Rick Drescher, not Boebert.
The database shows restaurants with similar names in Montana, Maryland and Tennessee were also approved for loans, but none in Colorado.
Some users who promoted the claim, such as political commentator Brian Tyler Cohen, deleted their original posts after it was debunked by CNN.
“The PPP check was for a bar of the same name in a different state,” the Twitter account for Cohen’s podcast tweeted on July 11. “My job is to stop misinformation, not to spread it; no excuse for getting this wrong. I apologize to the congresswomen and you all. ”
USA TODAY reached out to Boebert’s office for additional comment.
Our rating: False
The claim that Boebert received a PPP loan for her restaurant Shooter’s Grill is FALSE, based on our research. Boebert denied the claim, and her restaurant is not listed as a PPP loan recipient. Users apparently confused her restaurant with Shooters Sports Grill in Ohio.
Our fact-check sources:
- Lauren Boebert, July 11, Tweet
- Shooter’s Sports Grill, accessed July 15, About Shooters
- Rick Drescher, accessed July 15, Linkedin profile
- ProPublica Tracking PPP, accessed July 15, Shooters Sports Grill LLC
- ProPublica Tracking PPP, accessed July 15, search ‘Shooter’s Grill’
- CNN, July 12, Fact check: Progressive pundits falsely claim Rep. Lauren Boebert got a Paycheck Protection Program loan
- No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen, July 11, tweet
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Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.