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Luxury Hotelier Who Backed Trump Wins Big in Small-Business Aid

  • Firms led by Ashford’s Bennett got $59 million in virus aid
  • Loophole also allowed Potbelly, Ruth’s Chris to get funds
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A Dallas hotel executive and major donor to President Donald Trump has emerged as the biggest winner from the coronavirus bailout for small businesses.

A combined total of $59 million from the small business lending package went to three lodging companies chaired by Monty Bennett, according to regulatory filings. The money went to Braemar Hotels & Resorts, which owns luxury properties including the Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc., which owns more than 100 hotels around the country, and the firm that manages both.