The Federal Trade Commission announced that it, along with the U.S. Small Business Administration, sent letters to six companies warning them that they may be misleading small businesses seeking SBA loans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the second set of joint warning letters that the FTC and the SBA have sent during the pandemic.
In the letters, the FTC and the SBA warned marketers about making misleading claims that could lead consumers to believe the companies are affiliated with the SBA, or that that consumers can apply on their websites for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program or other CARES Act programs. The letters warn the recipients to take immediate action to ensure all deceptive claims are removed and to remediate any harm to small business consumers as a result of the claims. The letters also instruct the recipients to notify the FTC within 48 hours about the specific actions they have taken to address the agency’s concerns.
For example, in a letter to TF Group, which does business as Taycor Financial, the FTC and the SBA warned the company that it was making claims that suggest, among other things, an affiliation or relationship with the SBA or approved PPP lenders, or that consumers can get PPP or other SBA loans by applying on the company's website. For example, the FTC said it is misleading for the company to use the official logo of the SBA along with the claim "The Fastest & Easiest Way to Apply for PPP!"
"Under Section 5, it is unlawful to make representations that are likely to deceive consumers, including small businesses"