Are Donald Trump’s Businesses Losing Money?

Donald Trump pitched himself as a world-class businessman prior to entering politics. Now with Trump out of office, increased scrutiny focuses on the financial performance of the Trump Organization and related ventures. Some claim Trump’s controversial political career has hurt his companies.

Is there any evidence Trump’s businesses are declining or losing revenues since he ran for president?

Evaluating public data provides insights into the health of Trump’s holdings post-presidency.


For decades, Donald Trump has cultivated an image of elite financial success across diverse industries like real estate, hospitality, golf, and entertainment. Trump leveraged this reputation as evidence he could revive America’s economy as president.

But controversies surrounding Trump have led to boycotts of his properties. His focus on politics also raised speculation that Trump neglected his business empire. Does data on the recent status of key Trump assets point to struggling finances?

In this post, we will objectively examine available business metrics for the Trump Organization in the wake of Trump’s presidency to assess any indications of declining performance or profitability.

Pre-Presidency Overview of Trump Business

Before his political career, Trump built a sprawling business and brand portfolio:

  • 500+ entities including partnerships, LLCs, real estate holdings, and licensing deals [1].
  • $3.66 billion in total assets owned across all Trump businesses as of 2018 financial disclosures [2].
  • 515 subsidiaries under the Trump Organization umbrella as of his May 2016 financial filing [3].
  • ~22,500 employees throughout all Trump-connected companies per 2017 estimates [4].

Trump did not fully divest while president and resumed leadership upon leaving office in January 2021.

Public Data Offers Limited Transparency

Trump’s privately-held conglomerate lacks mandated public financial reporting. But some visibility into performance exists:

  • Government disclosures – Trump’s last pre-inauguration filing listed hundreds of positions across his businesses [5].
  • Property appraisals – Estimated values of certain holdings must be reported for tax purposes.
  • Company statements – Occasional revenue or loan loss claims in press releases.
  • Investigations – New York probes have revealed snippets of finances for specific assets.

However, absent subpoenas or voluntary disclosure, full insight into the Trump Organization’s internal finances remains limited.

Mixed Signals on Trump Organization Revenues

Data on key Trump assets paint a hazy picture regarding recent financial trajectory:

Downward Indicators

  • NYC real estate – Manhattan properties like Trump Tower and hotels have declined in appraised values [6].
  • Golf revenue – Reported golf revenue dropped $33 million from 2015 to 2021 [7].
  • Hotel occupancy – Trump hotel occupancy trailed competitors each year he was president [8].

Positive Indicators

  • Las Vegas hotel – Reported $9.6 million profit in 2021 despite Covid impacts [9].
  • Mar-a-Lago fees – Raised annual fee for Florida resort members from $100k to $150k in 2021 [10].
  • PAC fundraising – Trump PACs raised over $100 million since 2020 election [11].

The disparate data prohibits definitive conclusions about the Trump Organization’s overall financial trajectory in recent years.

Challenges and Headwinds Facing Trump Businesses

In addition to mixed financials, Trump’s companies must navigate ongoing business challenges:

Boycotts and Reputational Damage

  • Social media posts routinely call for consumer boycotts on Trump properties and vendors [12].
  • Controversies surrounding Trump may discourage some corporate clients from booking Trump hotels for events.
  • Toxic perception of the Trump brand among liberals could limit growth opportunities in progressive urban markets.

Ongoing Legal Probes

  • Criminal investigations introduce uncertainty and could produce charges or settlements affecting operations [13].
  • The probes may reveal unflattering findings on company practices even if no charges emerge.
  • Extensive litigation remains a drain on executive attention and resources.

Limiting of Brand Expansion

  • “Trump” branded hotels expanding abroad has ceased since his political rise.
  • The Trump Organization has put little emphasis on new real estate or hotel deals since 2015.

Though not yet definitive, these headwinds signal challenging terrain for significant growth going forward.

Scenarios for Trump Business Performance

Given conflicting indicators, three hypothetical scenarios may explain the business realities:

Struggling Finances

Controversies surrounding Trump have caused measurable revenue declines across his key assets, forcing a period of financial hardship for the company.

Insulated Finances

Most Trump properties cater to a loyal political following, insulating his assets from reputation damage and stabilizing finances despite difficult environment.

Opaque Finances

With data limited, the Trump Organization could be facing struggles but masking it through selective disclosure, opaque structuring, and accounting maneuvers.

The last scenario of maskinging any deterioration remains plausible given the overall lack of transparency.

Could a 2024 Campaign Help the Brand?

Some speculate another White House run could revitalize Trump’s business image:

  • Political debate regularly gives airtime to promote Trump properties on national stage.
  • Merchandising around a campaign generates new revenue streams the business can share in.
  • A political comeback helps rehabilitate the Trump brand with the mainstream.

However, these benefits could be offset by factors like additional boycotts and partners shunning divisive associations. The net gain is uncertain.


Donald Trump’s sprawling company has shown both strengths and weaknesses in the limited financial data available since he assumed office. While parts of his business remain profitable, the Trump brand faces undeniable headwinds due to its namesake’s divisive politics. However, with Trump’s companies tightly-held and disclosure limited, the true financial state of the Trump Organization is obscured outside scrutiny. Regardless of short-term profits, Trump’s perpetual linking of his politics and business remains unprecedented in the modern era. The wisdom of that co-mingling remains perhaps the most open question as Trump considers a potential 2024 comeback bid.















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