SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Companies affiliated with Gov. Gavin Newsom received nearly $3 million in loans designed to help small businesses survive the pandemic.

Newly released information from the federal government reveals more than eight times the amount of loans originally reported.

The governor put his business holdings into a blind trust before he took office and so would not have participated in the decision.

But the disclosure comes as he already is battling criticism that he is elitist despite his protests that he is a proud small businessman and entrepreneur.

Nine businesses tied to Newsom’s PlumpJack Group split the nearly $2.9 million in loans. The watchdog group Project On Government Oversight says it was a surprisingly large loan.

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