Thousands of Alabama businesses, from cabinet makers and thrift store operators to some of the state's largest law firms, applied for and received loans as part of the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP. According to data from the Small Business Administration, businesses in NY-22 received more than 7,000 PPP loans, totaling more than $650 million in aid, and saving almost 100,000 jobs. In May, a report prepared by the inspector general of the Small Business Administration warned that loan applications from minority-owned businesses disproportionately impacted by the pandemic were not being prioritized like they should have been. Also published was the number of jobs retained. And 86.5% of all PPP loans were less than $150,000.
"That's up to the SBA, (but) I think there are plenty of ways to get at least a better sampling of the entities that have received the loans", Kildee said. The list includes many local industry and community leaders, such as HBK CPAs & Consultants, the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, Avalon Holdings Corp., Do-Cut Sales & Services, YWCA Mahoning Valley, Alta Care Group, Iron and String Life Enhancement and Covelli Enterprises.
But there were red flags throughout the colossal data set that suggested some borrowers overstated how many jobs their loan salvaged. As U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said: "The PPP is providing much- needed relief to millions of American small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs and over 80 percent of all small business employees, who are the drivers of economic growth in our country". To provide additional aid to businesses, the application deadline for PPP loans was recently extended from June 30 to August 8, 2020. In that month, businesses on average received $200,000 from the program.
Of the 1,758 loans county-wide, 1,728 were for less than $350,000. About 1,750 of those loans went to Summit County recipients. Columbiana was second with 148 organizations totaling $5,972,255.50, followed by Lisbon, where 74 businesses received $2,304,605.
The Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program has provided forgivable loans to businesses created to maintain employment levels by covering payroll and other expenses during the COVID-19 crisis. "We were extremely grateful for the opportunity to apply for the PPP". The program, however, has been criticized for delays for small businesses who struggled to get loans approved in a timely fashion while large companies were approved for millions.
The federal government released data on individual loans for the first time, and a Journal-News analysis showed that 531 loans made to Butler County businesses were for $150,000 or more, while 3,286 were for less than that amount.