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The children of U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson own a minority interest in Maxair, Inc. which received a Paycheck Protection Program loan — but the loan was secured before they invested in the company, according to a statement from Johnson’s office to Wisconsin Watch.

According to ProPublica, the charter company received $125,000 from the PPP program, created to encourage retention of employees during the pandemic. Johnson’s children obtained a minority interest in Maxair in September 2020 — after it received PPP money, Johnson spokeswoman Corinne Day said.

Johnson’s children’s investment company has a non-controlling interest in Maxair, Day said. That means they own less than 50% of the company’s shares and do not have unilateral decision-making power. 

“Senator Johnson had no knowledge of the PPP loan and has no financial interest in either Maxair or his children’s investment company,” Day said. 

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


DocumentCloud: Sen. Johnson’s Office statement

Investopedia: Non-Controlling Interest

ProPublica: Tracking PPP

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Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.