Drako's Companies (Brivo, Eagle Eye) Take $4+ Million in PPP Funds

By John Honovich and Joey Walter, Published Jul 14, 2020, 12:09pm EDT (Info+)

While centimillionaire Dean Drako is the owner of two of the largest SaaS businesses in the security industry (Brivo and Eagle Eye), Drako's companies took between $3 and $8 million in PPP loans, new government records reveal.

IPVM Image

Drako spoke with IPVM, estimating the actual funding to be just over $4 million. Drako also explained the rationale behind the funding to IPVM.

Inside this note, we examine the loans, the positioning of Drako's companies and the debate about whether the ultra-wealthy should be taking PPP loans.

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IPVM Image

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Debate **** *** *******

**** ***** ****** * ****** **** whether ****-****** *** **** *********** ****** be ****** *** *****.

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*** *********** ** ******* ******** ********** makes ********* *** **** ******* ** support *** ******* ********** ** *** eligible *********

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Vote / ****

Comments (96)

Just a heads up - error here: "Drako was the founder and CEO of Barracuda Networks, which was acquired in 2017 for $1.6 million and gave him a net worth in the hundreds of millions:" It was acquired for 1.6B

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Thanks, Undisclosed #1. It's been fixed.

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I voted Yes.

In an ideal world, the PPP funds should have been better distributed and been directed to companies that had a good mix of present-risk and long-term viability. EG: ones where it was clear that a strategic loan would more likely be the difference between continuity for employees and failure.

In the actual world, the PPP funds immediately became a cash-grab akin to standing in a tornado of money with many people (companies) all trying to grab some before it ran out.

Personally, I have heard of far bigger concerns, eg: Trump Associates and Members of His Administration Received Millions in Loans From Coronavirus Bailout that I can't really blame DraCO for getting in on this.

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So what your saying is: if a Federal Reserve truck transporting money on an interstate has a wreck and cash/currency flies out on the highway you would condone every other driver on that road to pull over and grab as much of that windfall as possible and that there should be no consequence to that? Or lets try another one, some dude figures out there's a secret passage into a bank vault and uses it to steal money. He should tell his buddies and they should all go use that same secret passage and grab as much as they can? What I say is: there is no excuse for doing something that is wrong just because everyone else is doing it!

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Bad analogies, IMO. You are describing scenarios where the money was not legally made available to those taking it.

The PPP money was offered to any company that met some base qualifications, which were in retrospect potentially too broad.

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The PPP money was offered to any company that met some base qualifications, which were in retrospect potentially too broad.

I think it's more that it was too vague than too broad. Again, this is the section of the PPP application that needed to be certified:

the uncertainty of current economic conditions makes necessary the loan request to support the ongoing operations of the eligible recipient

The government could come back and tell certain businesses, "Your business (based on an IRS or SBA review) did not need this to support the ongoing operations of your business." Related to that, so far the loans have been made but generally not the forgiveness yet.

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The fact is Dean is right to say that the right move would have been to cut headcount. These loans allowed him to keep his employees and allow these people to have a job in trying times. This was 100% the right move for the employees of his companies, yes it also helped him, but the goal was to save jobs and these loans did that.

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The right thing to do was to save his employee's jobs for sure BUT, I question HOW he went about doing that when he had plenty of funding to keep them employed on his own without taking advantage of a "free money loophole" aka poorly launched and managed gov't handout meant to help small companies to keep employee's working. I'll give Drako credit for the "why" (assuming I agree that he gave 2 cents of time to thinking about his employees which I do not) but not the "how". He was wrong to do it and he should make it right now.

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All of these government programs seem to have not been well thought out. Remember the stimulus program? Investors were paid off then the companies declared bankruptcy. Cash for Clunkers actually cost more than 4k per car. The GM bailout cost taxpayers billions. NBA team, Harvard and other businesses received PPP loans, both of which returned them under pressure. My point is that these programs are thrown together too quickly. They are not well thought out. Many people take advantage of the programs and loopholes. But the government looks like they are doing something and are basically buying votes.

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Similar problem here in the UK Anthony, however I can empathise with their predicament as everyone around the world is thinking on their feet. There's no manual, process or procedure for this sort of thing.

If we think it's hard in our industry, with all its challenges, I'd hate to be a public servant/bureaucrat - dammed if you do / dammed if you don't.

As someone who is responsible for a growing business with obligations to staff, shareholders, partners and clients, I count my blessings every day that our company is lucky enough to be located in a country who has the ability to grant us a bit of breathing room during the tough times.

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It is no secret (at least to intellectuals who understand economics) that the vast majority of this stimulus money as well as Cartel Reserve QE and bond purchases support wealthy companies. They can easily manage their books to make it seem like the million$ were used for the intended purpose. Meanwhile, 100K small businesses are gone, so far, and the middle and lower class got a one time $1,200 check. The recent riots and current call to defund police are a small spark before society's conflagration if this continues.

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I believe it is people with Drako's mentality (which a healthy majority of Americans are sick and tired of) that has led to the civil unrest #3 mentioned. These kind of people don't care about people, they are not authentic, they willingly move further across the gray line between black/white (good/bad) and often tip their toes into the black water of dishonesty, lack of ethics or morality, all in the name of profit. I don't know Drako but I know a lot of entrepreneurs and as a group, most of them start out enthusiastic, authentic, ethical and charitable. I'd like to think Drako was once like that himself. I think the money and success of his businesses made him drunk with power and we've all heard the famous proverb, Absolute power corrupts absolutely” which means that whenever a person has power over other people or things, it makes him/her corrupt. It morally destroys their nature and fills them with destructive pride. However, if the person saves himself from this abuse of power, he or she is a humble person. This last sentence means there's still hope for Drako, if he does the right thing NOW and either pays back the money or spends an equal amount helping his local hairdresser, nail salon, restaurant, small integrator or other small business stay afloat!

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Voted Yes. Good for them. Its a pandamic and good tax payers that have been putting in $, appreciate the help regadless...

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Good point Robert.

I don't know about the US, but the only companies complaining about not getting government support are companies who in "normal times", are unable to get funding (or inelligible) due to their business not being sustainable - either loss making or already saddled with debt.

This is not an opportunity to prop up poorly run/unsustainable businesses - it should be there to support companies who are robust but need a helping hand in the short term so they can continue to thrive and scale in the long term.

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I'm one of the small businesses the PPP money was meant to help. We are a 7 year old, small family owned business. We make a small profit every month. Enough to pay our obligations and keep our employees working with a livable wage. And we are growing year over year. We are NOT a "poorly run/unsustainable business". However, because we don't have the millions available to us like Drako does, when the gov't made everyone shut down, our customers drew back and put projects on hold and some even delayed making their payments as everyone took a "wait and see what happens" stance early on. THAT was not something we could work around. Our business is fine as long as we're working. I think that's true of the majority of small businesses out there. The hairdressers, nail salons, small family owned restaurants and specialty shops etc. We used to make up over 90% of the country's economy but many have had to close their doors in this crisis. Some of THOSE might have been able to stay open if companies like Drako's hadn't swooped in and cleaned out all the taxpayer funding meant for businesses like mine. Drako and others like him should be ashamed of themselves.

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The guidelines for who should get these loans was clearly poorly drafted. Personally, I think companies like yours should definitely be prioritized in getting this kind of federal money, it is in the spirit of what the loans were meant to do. That being said, just because Drako is rich and a majority shareholder in public companies does not mean he should be paying operating expenses out of his own pocket while you are deserving of federal money because your family owns your business and you don't have any other shareholders. Just like you should be applying for these sort of loans if you are eligible, companies like Drako's should also be applying for these loans if they are eligible, it's the responsible business decision.

I get it, he's rich, and we should eat the rich, But he isn't the company that he is a shareholder of, and the employees of those companies are no less deserving of continuing to work than yours.

On a personal note, it looks like they added more money to the fund and extended the application deadline until August 8th. I wish you luck.

Paycheck Protection Program

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Robert I think you miss the point. I'm a "good tax payer putting in $" but not once did I believe that money was going to come directly back to me. I know that my taxes are often mishandled and misspent but more importantly, that they are MEANT to be my contribution to making sure we have clean water, safe highways, protection from crime, help for disadvantaged folks etc etc. And for the most part, I believe that IS where the majority of my contribution gets spent. Not once did it cross my mind that because I pay my taxes I should have license to abuse a gov't bailout, meant for a specific purpose to help people with REAL needs, just because I could. I'm one of the small businesses that was helped by this PPP money to the tune of a whooping $9k. Why did I need it? Because, I wasn't sure if I would able to meet payroll. I didn't have a bank account with millions in it or access to investment funding. I'm a small, mom/pop outfit. We live month to month. We are responsible with our money and able to meet our obligations as long as we are able to keep working. When the gov't shut us all down due to Covid 19, that was a hit we weren't prepared for and we weren't given a choice - nobody was. I get that Drako wasn't prepared either but if I had had $9k in reserves for emergencies (which I didn't), I would have used that up FIRST. THEN, if I still needed help to keep people employed I would have applied. Drako chose to stop investing in his own companies and instead took tax payer money because ....he could. No other reason. That's just wrong.

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If I were to personally fund (or provide convertible loans) to the companies, it would cause dilution to the shareholders, including the employee shareholders, which is generally something I try to avoid.

this is a crock. personally loaning the business money does not cause dilution of anyone’s shares.

though, printing up more shares and giving them to yourself does.

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I'm no financial whizz here but convertible loans/bonds would definitely dilute.

Regardless, if I were to put my money into my company, I would want to know that it's not just debt with a high rate of interest, it would need to be more attractive to factor in the future unknowns.

Again, I've got no issue with his approach here. Fair comment.

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Again, I've got no issue with his approach here.

I don’t have any issue with him actually taking the PPP to pay his people assuming the corporate entity in question needs it. that’s what the money is for.

his personal wealth shouldn’t factor in to it.

i only objected to his implication that if were he to “personally fund” there would be dilution, see analysis below.

also, ftr, I think that his argument about fiduciary responsibility to take the PPP is a much stronger one.

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You don't sound like a guy who's ever started and run a small business. You sound more like a potential investor and if I'm right in that evaluation, I can see why you'd want to make sure the business is going to make you a return on your investment. That would be a normal thought process for an investor. I don't know of very many small business startups, who's founders put every penny they had into the business they believed in, that had a guarantee for that investment. They did it because they are entrepreneurs with an idea they were confident they could sell and turn into a real business. That's the dream of every entrepreneur. Drako made that dream come true for himself and up until now, he was a beacon of hope and inspiration to others coming up behind him with similar dreams. I have no doubt that when he started, he put his own money. sweat, blood & tears into it, on faith in his idea and his ability to execute. He should be applauded for that. But now, he made a decision to take taxpayer money that wasn't meant for people like him which left many who really needed it unable to get it and therefore closed their doors and laid off workers. In some small fraction of a way, Drako is responsible for someone standing in a food line or being evicted from their home. He should be ashamed!

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I am confused as to why you are so upset. You've already said you received funding from the PPP loans program and were able to meet your payroll responsibilities.

Do you have a documented source that shows instances where larger corporations obtaining loans contributed to a small businesses not receiving them?

If you are going to be upset with anyone it should be the government that came up with the qualifications for loan approval.

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If you are going to be upset with anyone it should be the government that came up with the qualifications for loan approval.

how so?i have found over the years that i am quite capable of being upset at 3 or more independent parties to a single action, all without substantial dilution of moral outrage.

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Whatever floats your boat.

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Do you have a documented source that shows instances where larger corporations obtaining loans contributed to a small businesses not receiving them?

Thats kind of a dumb thing to say. While I could likely come up with documented sources for that, I'm not going to spend my time proving something that is so blatantly obvious in just common sense. There was a limited amount of $ available, some 90+% of all businesses in US are legit small businesses and you had big businesses and chains taking millions of dollars of the limited funds and you see/hear about mom & pops closing their doors due to lack of funding everyday. It doesn't take a forensic accountant to figure out that small businesses who REALLY needed the money didn't get it because it ran out so quickly with the big businesses who didn't need it jumping in there to take advantage of the loopholes they found. Yes, we got our $9k (far from the millions some took) and it helped us meet payroll and now we've found our balance and think we can weather the storm (thank God we didn't hire that extra tech and salesperson we almost pulled the trigger on!) but my nephew, also a small business, didn't get his app in fast enough so he didn't get any funding. His store was doing a booming business and growing phenomenally before this all happened. He started making & selling masks to keep his business alive and feed his family but that isn't enough now so last weekend, he started selling all his inventory at over 50% discount in an attempt to save his business as he hopes for a "recovery" before he has to close it for good. That's just wrong!

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I think the problem is that you assert that the "money wasn't meant for him" - but that is your opinion - the government laid out the requirements and left then very vague and easy to interpret broadly. If the money "wasn't meant for him" the government could have easily made a very objective formula to determine eligibility by using cash flow numbers from bank statements and sales figures and savings figures. They did not. Is the program poorly designed? Yes. What large federal program isn't? But if you qualify for the program, what is wrong with taking it?

This is like saying some person that makes 300k a year who donates to a charity should not take the legal federal tax deduction she is entitled to because "she is too rich". And too rich would be determined by the virtue signaler of course.

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You & I are debating a moral and ethical issue and it is clear that neither of us is going to agree with the other. Who it was meant for was VERY well advertised on all news outlets PLUS press conferences & interviews so unless Drako and others like him, are 100% shielded from any news at all - they knew who it was meant for and it was NOT meant for them. Just because it was poorly designed and poorly implemented, which opened up a huge loophole for sleazebags to jump through does not make it right to jump. And as to your "rich lady", firstly I'm not sure I'd put a $300k earner in the "rich" category" BUT, I also don't think the definition of charity includes "giving with the expectation of getting something in return". If she's really charitable she would give because she can and not take the write off because then all she's doing is taking credit for the giving when in fact, its the American taxpayer who's doing the giving when they repay her. But again - that's a difference in our moral and ethical perspectives.

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Wow... you are just way to righteous for probably anyone on this group. You are saying no one here should take any legal tax deductions if they can afford not to. If someone has a million dollars left at the end of the year, they should redo their taxes and make sure they didn't take any legal deductions. The tax code was there to encourage people to donate to charity - but you think the tax code is immoral if someone uses it and has something left over.

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I think that is why he qualified it as a convertible loan.

A standard loan would not dilute shares, but presumably would have interest and repayment terms that other investors might feel are unfair to them.

A convertible loan would convert to shares/equity, which would cause dilution, as he described.

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I think that is why he qualified it as a convertible loan.

yes, absolutely that’s why. but he is trying to mislead people into thinking that his hands are tied somehow.

for instance, it doesn’t appear that he is “qualifying” some much as offering an alternative:

If I were to personally fund (or provide convertible loans)...

if he is qualifying, it should say

If I were to personally fund by providing convertible loans...

in any case, what would be the point of saying that? then what he is essentially saying is tautological:

If I were to dilute shares to pay for my loan there would be dilution. And I don’t like to dilute etc...

what he could do, and what would be unremarkable for a flush majority owner to do would be to provide an interest free loan.

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From an employees perspective I'd like to think they'd welcome this. It is now in Dean's and EEN's best interest to maintain their employees' head count and salary levels for the foreseeable future. If they don't the forgiveness portion of the loan is null and void. Drako owes it to his shareholders and his employees to explore all options. I don't blame him or any other CEO for doing the same thing regardless of the size of their company. Businesses large and small are failing because of COVID-19.

Singling out Eagle Eye and making mention of no one else in the industry who is doing the exact same thing seems a little one-sided on IPVM's part. There has to be others. Why are they not mentioned as well?

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Singling out Eagle Eye and making mention of no one else in the industry who is doing the exact same thing seems a little one-sided on IPVM's part. There has to be others. Why are they not mentioned as well?

Agreed, what is the point of this article? I'm sure there are 10s if not 100s of similar industry companies who have taken advantage of the loans. This feels like tabloid article on a slow news day.

It's the government's problem that the scope was written like garbage in the Act. Don't hate the player, hate the game,

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So if a football play in the NFL deflates the ball we should hate the owners & coaches and applaud the player for finding a way to game the system? What is wrong with people?????

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"Deflategate" which I assume you are referring to was essentially a breach of the rules of the game of football. What the Patriots did was essentially illegal according to the NFL. As far as I can tell nothing illegal has transpired here.

Whether it's morally wrong for large corporations to utilize the PPP program is up for debate. I don't see how the two situations are remotely related or relevant.

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There has to be others. Why are they not mentioned as well?

Ben, Thanks, good questions!

We are releasing a report in a few hours covering 50 security industry companies who took the PPP.

As for this post on Drako's companies, Drako's approach is highly atypical compared to others:

  • The size of the funding is extreme. We have so far found only found 1 industry company taking more, an integrator, Tech Systems, who structurally has much more of a negative impact from coronavirus.
  • Unlike integrators, SaaS businesses for security infrastructure are much more resistant to downturns.
  • Drako is very rich. None of these other security industry companies have owners near Drako's wealth. Nor do any of the other security industry owners have their own eponymous car companies selling cars for $1.3 million each.

I think it's totally reasonable for people to disagree on whether or not Drako's companies should take PPP funding but the Drako situation is so atypical that it warrants special coverage.

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Thanks for the reply. Being a Canadian I am not as familiar with the PPP program as others but I'd assume the program is there to guarantee employment for Americans during COVID-19 and keep businesses afloat.

Did you spend any time investigating how EEN got such a large sum of money as compared to the others or who determines the loan value?

I don't see how Drako's personal wealth is relevant. Are there not other shareholders besides Drako? I think if anything you should be looking at the valuation of the company if anything. I am sure there are higher valued companies in the space other than EEN that took out a PPP loan. Looks like Tyco and Milestone did (you can correct me if I am wrong).

I'll admit I have always been pro EEN. This Article just seems like click bait to me.

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Looks like Tyco and Milestone did (you can correct me if I am wrong).

Tyco could not as they are far too large to meet the threshold.

Good catch on Milestone! They received $1 to $2 million, we did not look them up because they are bigger and assumed they would not be on the list (presumably it's because the US operation qualifies but we are going to check on this). We will add them and check with Milestone for a response.

I don't see how Drako's personal wealth is relevant? Are there not other shareholders besides Drako?

There are but Drako personally bought Brivo, e.g., for $50 million a few years ago. Even if you leave EEN out, Drako owns Brivo (with some minority portion for stock options, etc.) and Brivo received $2.8 million, which is a lot of money.

In terms of the US program, each recipient has to acknowledge that:

the uncertainty of current economic conditions makes necessary the loan request to support the ongoing operations of the eligible recipient

Brivo is so well positioned and Drako is so wealthy, it's hard to imagine that it was necessary to get that loan.

Btw, the Milestone Systems counter is a good one, Milestone owned by Canon so it's hard to understand how they would qualify or should take it. We will definitely be following up on that, thanks Ben!

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I only mentioned Tyco because I saw a listing for Tyco Electrical. My apologies to Tyco :) I am guessing it is probably harder to find some of the others if they have a different legal name as well.

I think EEN or any other VMS provider for that matter could easily argue the uncertainty of current economic conditions would warrant a loan to support their ongoing operations. When the loan was filed I doubt really anyone knew what was going to transpire. We still don't. I say take advantage of whatever is available because at some point it may not be.

I understand your points regarding Drako's wealth and the size of the loan. I honestly feel his personal wealth is still irrelevant. Legally, Drako and EEN are two separate entities and really should be treated as such.

Now the size of the loan I can sort of get behind but I'd want to know the justification and who authorized the sum before I passed judgement on Drako or EEN.

Good conversation. Refreshing to see in this day and age. Sure don't see this sort of thing on Facebook.

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Just saw this as well. Did ADT receive a loan also? Seems like a pretty large company to me.

IPVM Image

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Ben, thanks! We'll check. My first thought is that they are using the brand but are not actually owned by ADT directly. Joey, please email ADT corporate.

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No problem. Looking forward to seeing the entire listing.

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Ben, John –

ADT sent me back this note:

Hi Joey – This is not us nor an ADT Authorized Dealer.

I hope this clarifies!

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Thanks for the reply. Seems odd that there would be another company out there with the same name in the same business. ADT might want to check them out lol.

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Brivo is so well positioned and Drako is so wealthy, it's hard to imagine that it was necessary to get that loan.

In all seriousness, yes, but he is also trying to launch a car company.

I do not know his net worth, but it is most likely less than $1B (he didn't get all of the Barracuda sales proceeds). As a comparison, Tesla has raised over $4B, and raised ~$1.5B just to build the Model 3.

If you presume that at this point Drako Motors is his passion project, then he really is not wealthy enough to pull that off. Of course, building up and later selling off EEN and Brivo could add quite a bit of funding for the Drako Motors project. In that case, taking advantage of every opportunity, such as PPP loans, would seem logical, no?

The above is obviously just my speculation. Yes, DD has a lot of money in the bank, and is "wealthy" based on raw statistics. Whether or not that wealth is sufficient to fund his long term plans, I do not know.

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In all seriousness, yes, but he is also trying to launch a car company.

Wait? Is that an argument for or against Drako taking the PPP money? :)

I don't know the details of electrical car manufacturing nor Drako motors, all I know is watching the first 5 minutes of Jay Leno:

But that's enough to show that someone is seriously wealthy enough to build small batches of literally million-dollar cars with his name on them.

Whether or not that wealth is sufficient to fund his long term plans, I do not know.

Sure but not I am not sure that's the appropriate question for taking the PPP. Again, don't know the market for million dollar cars but that strikes me as higher risk than Brivo.

Note: Drako Motors is not on the list of companies getting PPP funds.

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Wait? Is that an argument for or against Drako taking the PPP money? :)

It is an argument for it. If my theory is correct and EEN and Brivo are leading up to Drako Motors funding, then any action to keep those companies in operation and with no visible scars (eg: layoffs) works to the long-term plan.

Again, don't know the market for million dollar cars but that strikes me as higher risk than Brivo.

More speculation on my part...

Having grown up in and around the automotive industry, and looking at the current market, the $1M+ price makes sense for now. This is an upscaled copy of Tesla's initial launch plan - make your first model a high priced performance-oriented one marketed to high wealth people.

The majority of the components of the Drako car are being built by contract manufacturers (again, I believe, do not know for sure). Drako Motors has no "manufacturing" facilities of their own at this point, which makes sense. Their output capacity is extremely limited, due to all the factors and large costs involved in getting an auto maker off the ground. For example, small volume manufacturers do not need to donate vehicles to be destroyed in crash testing.

So, with limited output capacity, the price is going to be set along the lines of:Operating Costs / Volume = $Price

Instead of:

(COGS + R&D + Warranty costs) * 1.10 = $Price

The Drako Motors car is $1.3M because they are only going to be building a limited run, at least at first. Is this car in the same class as other $1M+ Supercars? I do not know, but I do know that buyers in vehicles of that class purchase for an entirely different set of criteria than the average Porsche or Lamborghini buyer.

Could Drako sell more cars at a more reasonable price of $150,000? Sure, but due to my speculated limited production capacity, and potential increased warranty/maintenance costs associated with cars that would be in the class of a daily driver, it would be silly to try and play in that space at this time.

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I notice this thread has become IPVrrroooooM

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There are probably many things that factored into EEN's decision to request the PPP loan. In the end it safeguard's their workforce in times of uncertainty (boosting morale), keeps the business going and doesn't put Drako directly at risk. It's a win for everyone concerned. Again, we need to separate EEN and Drako. They aren't one and the same.

As far as Drako goes he is probably more concerned about losing his car company in the current economic climate than Brivo or EEN. I'd guess he has been throwing millions into it even before COVID-19. This just makes things worse for him now.

Just to be clear you aren't insinuating he is going to use the money obtained for EEN and Brivo to keep his motor company going right? I think that is quite a stretch.

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Just to be clear you aren't insinuating he is going to use the money obtained for EEN and Brivo to keep his motor company going right? I think that is quite a stretch.

Ben, let's uplevel. There is a legitimate debate in the US currently about whether well-funded startups / companies should be taking PPP loans, e.g. 1, 2, 3).

My point, and Drako does not dispute this, is that Drako has an extremely high net worth. His net worth is so high he has his own ultra-rich car company named after himself.

Brivo and EEN have strong economic positions as SaaS infrastructure businesses.

The combination creates a genuine question of whether it is appropriate or 'necessary', as the PPP loan application states, for Drako to take this funding.

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All I can say is that well funded and stable companies have still let workforce go due to the uncertainty around COVID-19. Anything encourages the protection of jobs and keeps the company afloat I am all for.

You can get hung up on the value of the loan or Dean Drako's net worth if you want but the government provided the opportunity and EEN and Brivo applied.

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If you presume that at this point Drako Motors is his passion project, then he really is not wealthy enough to pull that off. Of course, building up and later selling off EEN and Brivo could add quite a bit of funding for the Drako Motors project. In that case, taking advantage of every opportunity, such as PPP loans, would seem logical, no?

Did you hear yourself when you said this? Based on this "logic", since I have a "passion project" to make special dog whistles, I should look for and take advantage of any gov't bailout I can creatively (lie my way into) justify under my existing business because it would add funding to my passion project. And the heck with any other business my action in doing so might negatively affect. So what that other businesses have to lay workers off so that I can fund my passion project!?!?! And you called that logical????

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Funny John. You criticize everyone else of PPP, yet you yourself took PPP, knowing damn good and well at the same time you are basking someone else for taking it!

IPVM = Fakenews!

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I think you missed the point of the report, it is not even really about EEN, they are just the example case for the headline.

The point for consideration is "should companies that have direct access to deep pockets via founders or existing investors take PPP loans?"

Presumably you do not think that John Honovich's personal bank account rivals Drako's? IPVM has no investors, no sponsors, the operating capital all comes from subscribers. It stands to reason that if business is down and there are layoffs that some people would cancel subscriptions and impact IPVM revenue, making them more of the text-book PPP loan case.

As I said in my comment above, I personally do not fault EEN for taking a PPP loan, but there is little correlation between IPVM and EEN in this sense. If anything, IPVM is probably closer in terms of their business financials to UD6, who argues that companies like EEN taking these loans dramatically reduced the pool of available funds to smaller businesses without the same wealthy investor fallback.

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My issue with IPVM is that they singled out EEN, Brivo and Drako knowing full well that there were many others including themselves that did the same thing. The headline and the story is arguably click bait. I can guarantee the page views on the article are through the roof because of it. If they wanted to be truly objective they should have only posted the article regarding the 50+ PPP borrowers.

What concerns me more is that they had no idea Milestone was another borrower. There reply was "oh we figured they were too large to receive a loan." They didn't do their due diligence up front before posting the article. That I am guessing is the reason it took so long for the 50+ PPP borrowers' article to come out after the initial article about EEN, Brivo and Drako.

In two years of subscribing this is literally the first time I have seen an article I disagreed with on IPVM which says a lot about the quality of the content on here. I just think they can do better.

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I can guarantee the page views on the article are through the roof because of it.

Wrong. Point of fact:

Also:

the reason it took so long for the 50+ PPP borrower article to come out

Wrong. Drako post - July 14th, 50+ PPP post - next day, July 15th.

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My apologies then. Not sure why I didn't see the other article sooner because I was looking for it once it was mentioned that it was going to come out.

I assumed the comments alone would have ballooned the number. Do you count the page views on the comments in those numbers?

My comment still stands regarding the article itself.

EDIT: I see now I why assumed the 50+ article came out much later. I received the article email notification on July 20th. Made it look like the article was posted then.

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Pretty sure I didn't miss the point of the report, however singling out Drako companies while damn well knowing IPVM took PPP and never disclosed that to your audience is complete BS.

If you want to call out wealthy persons and discuss whether wealthy persons should take PPP is one thing, Calling out a specific company while not stating you in fact took PPP too, Typical Honovich approach.

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Not sure about the "Typical Honovich approach" comment but everything else I agree with.

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I wonder if your opinion would change if Vintra and your name was in the headline?

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What part of my opinion do you think would change? I'd love for Vintra to be seen as having a combination of wealthy investors and enough momentum to be viewed as not worthy of a PPP loan.

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I think you missed the point of the report, it is not even really about EEN, they are just the example case for the headline.

The comment above regarding how the EEN, Brivo, Drako article was purely used as an example case and not in any way singling them out.

The article wasn't exactly in support of EEN, Brivo, or Drako was it? It also made no mention individually of the other 50+ borrowers or the fact that IPVM was a borrower as well. That is my beef with the article. That is not how you report objectively. In this day and age integrity in reporting is more important than ever.

IPVM also only ran the other Milestone article after I told them that they had taken out a loan as well. Which honestly was not my intention for them to do so. I mean just run the one article detailing all of the borrowers and be done with it.

It is also interesting to note that you are a former employee of IPVM as well. Hopefully they always give you and your company positive press going forward.

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The comment above regarding how the EEN, Brivo, Drako article was purely used as an example case and not in any way singling them out.

Read slower, that is not what I said. Of course they were "singled out", they were used as the example case, as I stated in my first sentence.

But this report is not about "Should Eagle Eye specifically have taken PPP loans?".

The commentary on Eagle Eye leads up to the clearly laid out point of the report:

This comes amidst a debate over whether well-funded and rich individuals should be taking PPP funds.

You mention:

It also made no mention individually of the other 50+ borrowers or the fact that IPVM was a borrower as well.

This is correct, but not directly relevant. IPVM did a second report, which you are aware of, that was a broader analysis of companies taking PPP loans, and their statements (when provided). In that report, IPVM disclosed their PPP loan, that was the day after the Eagle Eye report, which likely means that report was already written and in the queue when this one was released. In other words, I think IPVM intended all along to disclose their PPP loan. Sure, we can argue about if that should have been clearly disclosed up front, but I don't think IPVM taking a PPP loan really matters as it relates to large organizations with more revenue and funding taking these loans.

It is also interesting to note that you are a former employee of IPVM as well. Hopefully they always give you and your company positive press going forward.

Thanks, I LOL'd at this. I have no expectations of IPVM bias in my favor just because John used to give me a paycheck.

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IPVM disclosed their PPP loan

Point of fact: IPVM Receives PPP Loan, we disclosed on July 9th, 5 days before we published the Brivo report.

Obviously, IPVM is not hiding this. I mistakenly believed no one would conflate IPVM with Brivo, a company that is more than 10x our size owned by someone who is easily 100x richer than me.

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Not sure I understand your point? You call out someone who did the exact same thing you did but because the majority shareholder is rich it's different. IPVM isn't exactly a Mom and Pop ice cream shop either. I believe Donald Maye said that your conference alone brings in $200K, plus your subscriber base (which I have heard you say was in the several 1,000's a few year's back) and the online courses. He also stated that the funds were going to be used for expansion? Isn't the loan supposed to be used to protect your employees? That hardly seems like an organization hurting for funds at the moment either. Donald also said subscribers had cancelled their memberships? Is it not an annual subscription? Are you refunding the subscribers?

I would think outside of the conference your revenue stream would be relatively stable in comparison to an integrator or manufacturer at least for the foreseeable future.

You also disclosed IPVM took the loan in a forum post. It is not the same thing as sending an email out to all of your subscribers saying that you took one or having to justify it to the masses.

Honestly, I think I have had enough of this discussion. I've wasted two days of my life on it now. If you had of written one article and treated all concerned fairly (including Milestone) I wouldn't have said a word.

Anyway this site creates great content which I have utilized countless times in the past 2 years. I just don't agree with how you reported on this latest issue. Have a good day.

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I did my best to read your reply as slowly as possible this time.

As far as you working for IPVM in the past all I was getting at is I am not surprised you see things differently because you worked there.

On the other side of the coin I am pretty sure EEN, Brivo and Drako don't see it the same as you do. IPVM put the spotlight squarely on them up front with no individual mentions of anyone else doing the same. A day later another article gets posted but not sent out as as email notification until the 20th which includes IPVM's name and everyone else who took out a loan. John can say it went out a day later all he wants but I don't normally sit on the website waiting for articles to read. So unless I get an email about an article I probably don't see it. The email notification is how I found the first one. Why wasn't this one article? Why single out EEN, Brivo and Drako? Why do the same with Milestone?

If you cannot see how this all unfolded as being greasy we can just agree to disagree.

And to be honest I don't care if IPVM posts good/bad press about you or your company. In the end I just want them to be objective in and tell the whole story with their reporting.

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Why single out EEN, Brivo and Drako? Why do the same with Milestone?

Ben, are you seriously now objecting to the Milestone post too? Milestone is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canon, a company with ~180,000 employees, which we explained in that post upfront. Curious - do you think there is any difference between Milestone and IPVM or are we all just small businesses?

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IPVM themselves took PPP, yet they criticize the hell out of Drako companies! What a bunch of hypocrites!

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I had been waiting for this. To be honest I didn't think it was right to single out EEN, Brivo, and Drako personally when there were obviously many others taking advantage of the program including IPVM. Time to go pop the popcorn...

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Yeah they should have taken the PPP. Noone knew what the Covid was going to do to their business. Besides, its refreshing to see the US government finally help the producers of the country when they are otherwise so focused on helping non-producers.

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For the most part a corporation's goal/responsibility is to make money for it's shareholders. As long as it is legal (or sometimes not) they will generally do whatever they can to achieve this. So while I may disagree on a moral or personal level with a successful business taking funds like these, the real issue is with the government for approving this, and not putting checks in place to limit who is applicable for funds like these; assuming the goal is to help smaller companies.

As a general rule governments are much better at giving out money to large corporations that don't really need it, rather than small and medium businesses that do need it.

All that being said I'm Canadian, so I don't know much about PPP. But similar things happen here, like Loblaw's who received $12m in funding to purchase more efficient refrigerators even though they made $800m that year...

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For the most part a corporation's goal/responsibility is to make money for it's shareholders.

Ugh. No it's not. That idea was proposed by Milton Friedman in the 70's and it amazes me people actually believe it and it has become so pervasive. Jack Welch was one of the poster boys for this train of thought and was Time Magazines Manager of the Century for it.

One example: Stock Buybacks. In 2018 there was over $1 trillion in stock buybacks, I have heard that number approaches $6 trillion in the US when you look at the years of 2010 - 2019. The whole point of buybacks is to make shareholders money and it comes at the expense of research, development, infrastructure improvement, capital investment, debt reduction, etc. Imagine where we would be if companies invested in themselves instead of taking money from their companies and giving it to their shareholders, I bet Boeing jets wouldn't be falling out of the sky.

I realize a lot of people are getting very wealthy off this misguided idea, but even Jack Welch recognized his folly and became one of its harshest critics. "In 2009, he famously declared that shareholder value is 'the dumbest idea in the world. Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy... your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products. Managers and investors should not set share price increases as their overarching goal… Short-term profits should be allied with an increase in the long-term value of a company.'" (Taken from here.)

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Ugh. No it's not.

You can say it's not but in reality that is certainly the way it seems. Until government legislates something different the majority of industry will operate in that manner. Performance is judged quarter to quarter, year to year. I am not saying I agree with it. Industry left to their own devices will never do the right thing unless pushed there.

Legislating some sort of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) requirements would be the answer.

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"If I were to personally fund (or provide convertible loans) to the companies, it would cause dilution to the shareholders, including the employee shareholders, which is generally something I try to avoid. The PPP allowed us to avoid this."

As the CEO of a small business I call BS on this. We applied for and received a PPP loan for $9k in the beginning when the "uncertainty" made it clear that we would likely struggle to meet the payroll which is only 4 people. I WISH my biggest problem was not causing my shareholders to lose a little value. We have every dime of our personal money tied up in equipment for our business and we've stayed above water (pre-Covid) by putting our personal $$$ into the business when it was needed. EVERY small business starts out this way. It's pretty rare to see a small business start up with millions of dollars from investors. The investors want you to first prove yourself with personal funding followed by "friends & family" funding and then maybe a small bank loan here or there. Then they can look at things like: is the business growing, is it paying its debts, is it well managed etc., before they put the big bucks into it. The majority of truly small businesses that were impacted by Covid 19 were in the services industry where wages are not very high but payrolls are. The PPP money was meant to keep those nail salons, small restaurants, little integration companies, etc., afloat until we got Covid 19 under control. They don't have the luxury Drako has of being personally well funded AND plugged into the investor market where additional funding is more readily available for him. For most of us (the REAL small businesses) the crisis has meant either dumping our last personal dimes into the business or going into credit card & loan debt or for some, closing the doors and laying off the workers. Drako had the ability to support his own payroll without asking for a public handout. The fact that he decided that taxpayers needed to be responsible to ensure that his shareholders didn't lose any value on their stock, completely ignoring that the businesses who really needed it to keep people employed should get that money, is pure BS. Wah!!! I cry for him! Meanwhile, small business' who actually DID need the money had to send employees home to their families with the knowledge that they may not be able to pay their rent and that some of them would be in the food lines to feed their families. Shame on Drako! He needs to make this right and pay back what he took and admit that his action in even applying was morally and ethically WRONG! That money was meant for businesses who REALLY had zero money to fall back on and faced the reality of firing employees and closing their doors due to Covid 19. Drako wasn't worried about payroll or closing doors, he wasn't worried about his employees or anyone else's ending up in soup lines - he was worried about a loss of stock value and he should be ashamed!

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Since all taxation has something to do with ethics... I wonder if we haven't lost something bigger in the discussion - namely why is it the governments job to do any wealth distribution (and in this case, take wealth from future generations and distribute it to he current generation)?

The discussion is sort of like arguing who ethically gets what after a group of people loot a store. The government doesn't have any business forcefully taking a persons earned money and (through taxes) and giving it to someone who didn't earn it.

The PPP loan is an example of the increased hate we have towards free enterprise. The government is saying that if you worked hard and saved money for a rainy day - you will be punished for not being able to demonstrate financial stress related to Covid19. If your company always lived from paycheck to paycheck because the owners wanted boats and vacations and didn't save any money... well... congratulations, you win.

I applaud them for taking the "loan". Don't worry, they will pay it back over and over and over in taxes.

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The PPP loan is an example of the increased hate we have towards free enterprise. The government is saying that if you worked hard and saved money for a rainy day - you will be punished for not being able to demonstrate financial stress related to Covid19. If your company always lived from paycheck to paycheck because the owners wanted boats and vacations and didn't save any money... well... congratulations, you win.

You paint all the small businesses as mismanaged loser companies while painting the big boys that didn't need, but took it anyway, the money as well managed. As a small business, who needed and got $9k in PPE, I WISH I had a boat and don't even get me started talking about my last vacation (over 7yrs ago). I don't have those things BECAUSE I'm responsible and managing a small growing business. No body could have predicted the Covid 19 fallout so blaming small businesses for not having 6 months or more of "savings for a rainy day" is just ludicrous. The point is, those big boys like Drako & Milestone DID have the ability to sustain their businesses without jeopardizing smaller businesses who didn't and they chose to screw the small businesses in favor of keeping their share holders happy. I don't care how much you try to justify it or blame it on a badly mismanaged roll out - those companies KNEW, just like the rest of us, that the PPP was meant to help small businesses who needed the help. Not to strengthen share prices for bigger companies!

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I think you are missing the point - or at least don't understand free enterprise and capitalism. First of all - my point applies to all businesses. It doesn't matter if you are General Motors or Joe's Pizza. You ability to survive any unexpected downturn in the economy will depend largely on how you manage your cash flows. So never mind if it is a large company like Milestone (assuming they took it legally, but John has pointed out they may not have because of the +500 employees) or a small company with five employees. Cash flow and savings are critical for downturns no matter the size of your company.

I could easily go out and buy a really nice new 70k pickup truck right now - but it would be foolish because we could be looking at a downturn in the economy and I want to save the cash. But my competition may choose to do just that. Do you not understand that? And should the government give the money to my competitor and not me? I don't see how you can see this as fair. Why should he get the truck and a bailout - and I get nothing because I was frugal?

And as far as not anticipating Covid19 - everyone should have - at least they should anticipate some unforeseen disaster or downturn. Even on a personal level -they used to teach that you should have six months living expenses saved for an emergency. Now +70% of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck - because they live at or above their means. Then, when something goes wrong they demand the government redistribute wealth by taxing the person that was prudent. This makes ethical sense?

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It doesn't matter if you are General Motors or Joe's Pizza. You ability to survive any unexpected downturn in the economy will depend largely on how you manage your cash flows.

A major difference is that larger companies have a financial team, bankers on speed dial as well as sizeable debt vehicles already established.

Small businesses tend to lack most or all of the above and therefore pure operational cash flow becomes critical since they cannot anywhere near as easily access financing options. This is something Drako makes clear in his post that is different than the average small business:

If I were to personally fund (or provide convertible loans) to the companies, it would cause dilution to the shareholders

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This might be over my economical head.... but I'm not sure what "sizeable" debt vehicles are. They don't have to have any debt - that is a choice they make. But if they do have debt they certainly have the ability to choose how much debt. GM went bankrupt and Ford did not. They made different financing and operational choices that resulted in different results (including me losing all my money in GM stock!)

Operational cash flow is just as critical for me as it is for Hertz. Hertz has way to much debt, and they can't just pick up the phone and ask for more from a banker.

But I still think the real question is does the language of the PPP loan allow them to take it. I think Drako answered that well. The economy stopped and many - like a close friend of mine - got laid off. The loan worked like it was supposed to for their employees keeping them employed. If the loan had REQUIRED any stockholder to first loan personal money to their business before taking PPP - that would have been a different matter.

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This might be over my economical head.... but I'm not sure what "sizeable" debt vehicles are.

A business line of credit is a good example. It's hard for most small businesses to get significant lines of credit because they are small, they often don't have any professional financial managers, etc.

Take Convergint. Convergint had an extra $75 million line of credit sitting there unused. A lot of smaller integrators have, at best, their personal credit cards.

A liquidity crisis for a small business is more likely to turn into a solvency one (i.e., bankruptcy) because of an inability to secure debt, compared to a larger company with greater assets, financial managers, etc.

And Brivo is a great example of this. They sell an infrastructure SaaS business, short of going out of business, it's hard to shut off your access control system and stay in business. Cancelling your IPVM membership or delaying an integrator project is fairly easy to do quickly.

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I guess I'm still struggling to see what it matters how much credit you have access to. The credit I have access to is peanuts compared to Convergient's 75 million - but it's probably a ton more as far as a percentage of my sales last year.

But you do point out that different companies are going to be effected in different ways. And for those that had solid RMR I don't see how they could claim they were effected unless they were looking at a potential long term downturn. But I can see how large corporation would want to be even leaner anticipating the obvious - lost SaaS income as business close down.

The whole complexity of the discussion just brings me to the point that government will always fail in two points at wealth redistribution schemes: 1.) competency in distribution and 2.) fairness in distribution.

I still go back to my illustration of a bunch of people looting a store (my children's future) and then standing around and fighting over what the most ethical way to distribute the loot amongst themselves.

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I guess I'm still struggling to see what it matters how much credit you have access to.

It matters whether you go out of business in a crisis. If you have credit, you can draw down on that credit to pay employees and stay afloat. If you don't have credit, you can't pay employees and you go out of business.

And it's hard for smaller businesses to get credit.

Brivo does not need emergency credit because it has Drako. But, if did it, they have 200+ employees, a CFO, a corporate controller, staff accountants, etc. They have brand, they have contracts, a 20+ year track record, etc. Banks are far more likely to provide credit to a company like that than your average integrator.

Take hypothetical Baltimore Access Control Integrators, a 10-person company where one spouse runs sales and the other does the books. It's going to be far harder for them to convince a bank to give them a line of credit in an emergency like the last few months. Makes sense?

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I guess maybe I don't understand banking. I would think they would loan Baltimore Access Control money if they had asserts to back it up or long track record in the industry. And they would not want to loan it to Hertz if it look very risky. I supposed having a CPA on staff is nice - but I can pick up the phone and and have my CPA fill out a loan app just as well.

But even if I grant that it is generally easier to get loans when you are larger I would just ask how did they get larger? How come my business (started in 1988) is still super small? Why have so many of my competitors gotten so much bigger than me over the years? Probably because they are smarter or work harder or take more risks. So if they have an advantage over me they earned it and I"m ok with that.

Along those lines I don't see why corporate welfare is OK for a company with 500 employees ... but 501 employees? Nada . You lose. What if two companies are Covid19 shut down both struggling equally - but one has 490 employees and the other 520. Why does one get free money and not the other? What sin did the owner of the latter commit that he/she has to pay more taxes in the future to give grant money to their competitor with 490 employees today? I just don't know how this stuff gets made up.

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I would think they would loan Baltimore Access Control money if they had asserts to back it up

What assets would Baltimore Access Control have? They are not going to have a lot of hard assets that can be liquidated. If the owner of the Baltimore Access Control owns a house they can use that as collateral but that's generally the extent of it and is effectively a personal loan.

There are transaction costs in doing these things (e.g., due diligence), so everything else equal, smaller deals are less attractive than larger ones.

but I can pick up the phone and and have my CPA fill out a loan app just as well.

Filing the loan app out is a formality, getting it approved is the more difficult thing for small business.

I don't see why corporate welfare is OK for a company with 500 employees ... but 501 employees? Nada

You can make the same case for any regulation. Why is the drinking age x instead of x-1 or x+1? Why is the voting y instead of...? People may disagree about the exact value but there is a general consensus that children should not drink, small businesses should have some benefits, etc.

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I am not as familiar with this loans program as many others are on here or what the US government classifies as a small business. Are small businesses classified as such based on head count, revenue or a combination of both?

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Only head count - less than 500 employees. So if you have less than 500 employees and can certify "current economic uncertainty makes the loan request necessary" you are in.

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Ok that's what I thought. So basically this is down to Drako being rich then.

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From the legal standpoint his being rich has nothing to do with it - the requirements for the loan did not stipulate any wealth test for the stockholders. If that were the case - many would not have qualified just on the wealth test alone.

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In addition to 500 employees, other rules do apply:

  • "revenue-based size standard" meaning average net income of less than $5 million the last two fiscal years
  • tangible net worth cannot exceed $15 million for the applicant
  • "alternative size standard" based on affiliations, which has 4 rules: ownership, stock, management, identity of interest
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Joey: I think that only applies for business that are going for the alternative definition of "small business". I didn't realize there was such a thing... so I guess in certain circumstance you can have more than 500 employees and still get the PPP. (see How a Business with More than 500 Employees May Qualify for the SBA’s 7(a) Paycheck Protection Loan Program | Cohen & Company )

So the 15 million is NOT a requirement for business under 500 employees. And of course it says nothing of personal wealth of stockholders which does not factor in anywhere.

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Matthew, this is right. 500 employees or fewer "or" the other standards for a small business concern can apply, so the rules are not related to one another.

The effect of introducing the alternative small business standards was to allow for more companies to apply, rather than introduce stricter standards.

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I agree there is consensus on the need for many government benefits. But many - such as myself - have always distinguished between common good (i.e. need to pay for legislators, police force, army) and taking hard earned wealth by force to give it to someone who did not earn it.

Today we have laws that make murder illegal but we also have laws that make theft legal. My problem is not with the former, but rather the latter. Taking the fruit of one persons labor and giving it to someone else by force never helps either party. But we have become so used to it that it is not shocking anymore - and indeed expected. If we are having a hard time financially we don't need to look to friends or family - we have the government. But the government can never give anyone anything without first forcible taking it from someone else. If any one can think of a way the government can give money away without taking it from someone else then let me know - I'll change my mind and support corporate welfare.

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No, I'm not missing your point, just disagreeing with it. But since you repeated the assertion that any business who is struggling to keep their doors open due to this pandemic and the resulting economic fallout is automatically a mismanaged business AND doubling down on that by using the personal finance example saying that people who don't have 6 months of set aside in savings are just irresponsible living above their means, I'll continue the conversation to address that. I won't argue the 70% figure (although I don't know what the real # is) but assuming it is 70%; to say that everyone of those people are living paycheck to paycheck because they are irresponsible doesn't take into consideration the thousands of single moms making $12.00 an hour because the dad is either in prison or just plain bailed or because she & the kids were being beaten up by the father so she moved out and tried to get on her feet alone to take care of the kids. Are we gonna lump her in with your description of these people? Or what about the thousands of people who fell ill or had a tragic car accident that left them paralyzed and racked up medical bills that they couldn't pay and ended up in bankruptcy and now, not only can't work at the same level as they did when they were healthy but, have lost their homes and everything else. Are you including them in the description? This is where you and I differ. I believe you are absolutely right that there are some jerks who take advantage of the system and just don't want to work so they pretend they're "needy" but I think that's a very small percentage of the 70%. So I don't throw the rest of the people who legitimately need our help and compassion (which is what gov't assistance is supposed to be about) under the bus. I'm not saying that EVERY business that applied for and got the PPP money didn't deserve it - I'm just saying that a handful (just like the handful of ingrates that take a public handout without needing it) are taking the gov't handout without needing it and justifying it as "it's the gov'ts fault for not rolling out a perfected plan with precision" never mind that it was an emergency and the roll out had to be rushed to help people who needed it immediately. You'll never convince me that THOSE companies aren't dead wrong morally, ethically and patriotically for taking the money. But if it makes you feel any better - I do agree with you that the handful of ingrates on the public dole for no reason are equally morally, ethically and patriotically deficient! Lets just stop lumping whole groups into one derogatory statement or belief about that particular class of people.

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There are so many problems here I"m not sure were to begin. Other than to first complement you on the fact that you do really seem to care for people that are poor. But if the method is to send endless amounts of money to the poor - then it is for certain that does not work. The problem is that what poor people really need is a good stable home from generation to generation- and of course the government can never give them that. They can make policies that encourage strong familes (of course our polices in the US discourage that). But if taking money from people who earned it and giving it to people who did not earn it worked - we would have virtually no poor in this country at all giving what we have done for the last 50 years.

I don't know really if there is any value in continuing this conversation - and partly that is because I don't know your name. I think it is an excellent feature that IPVM has designed in making a system where we can post things without disclosing our names. We are often trying to protect our markets, locations and strategies. But for this kind of discussion there is no need for that - and i believe that people are always more civil when they are not anonymous. I'm pretty sure we'd get along even better (hopefully) over a beer at the local pub.

I also think that if anyone wants to publicly say that Drako is ethically deficient they ought to not do it hiding.

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I also think that if anyone wants to publicly say that Drako is ethically deficient they ought to not do it hiding.

because if the average joe is not willing to submit to the possible social media backlash from Drako, his associated entities, his thousands of ardent supporters, then they should be silent, right?

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Completely agree with your statement regarding posting anonymously.

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Update - total is $4.87 million for the two companies:

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