Data release on small businesses receiving PPP loans during the pandemic: NPR
Kevin Dietsch / AP
Restaurants, car dealerships and lawyers were among the companies that borrowed the most from a federal program to save jobs during the pandemic.
These industries, along with physician and dental offices, topped the list of nearly 700,000 companies approved for larger loans under the $ 660 billion paycheck protection program. federal government, commonly known as PPP.
the Small Business Administration released a list companies borrowing between $ 150,000 and $ 10 million under the loan program after members of Congress and the media pressured it to do so.
The vast majority of borrowers under the program are not named in this data because it only identifies those who borrow $ 150,000 or more. Yet the named companies account for nearly 75% of all loan dollars. The average loan for the entire P3 program was around $ 100,000.
PPP loans aim to keep employees on payroll. The program has supported 51 million jobs, according to the SBA. Low-interest loans can be canceled if companies meet certain conditions, such as retaining or re-hiring employees and maintaining salary levels.
Topping the list of the largest borrowers are the types of businesses hit hardest during the pandemic. As Americans cooked at home and ordered take-out, full-service restaurants lost customers. Over 33,000 of them have applied for the loans. They borrowed at least $ 9 billion.
The Americans have also canceled elective medical and dental visits, leading to layoffs in these sectors. Together, doctors and dentists have borrowed over $ 10 billion.
New car sales fell sharply when the pandemic hit, and dealerships borrowed at least $ 7 billion.
And maybe no type of business is better positioned to file complex documents than a law firm. Data shows that more than 14,000 of them have applied for loans, borrowing more than $ 5 billion.
The law firms on the list include a number of large, prominent firms that are considered small businesses by their number of employees, but may have partners who earn millions per year. Among the law firms was Boies Schiller Flexner, with a loan of between $ 5 million and $ 10 million. The firm was founded by litigation attorney David Boies, whose clients included the Department of Justice, former Vice President Al Gore and disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Almost as many religious organizations – over 10,000 of them – have also borrowed money. Among those who borrowed at least $ 5 million were Catholic dioceses in California, New York, Nevada, Tennessee and Kentucky. Illinois-based Willow Creek mega-church has also borrowed at least $ 5 million.
Despite its success, the PPP program has proven to be controversial. It became clear early on that some larger, well-resourced businesses were asking for loans, and some better-connected businesses had benefits, like easier access to banks.
Members of Congress and others have also raised questions about the demographics of borrowers.
The new SBA data does not answer it. It contains placeholders for the sex, race and ethnicity of borrowers, but these boxes in the data are mostly blank, with the word “unanswered” written. In a statement accompanying the release, the SBA said the provision of demographic information was voluntary.
“The SBA is working to collect more demographic information from borrowers to better understand which small businesses benefit from PPP loans,” the agency said. “The loan cancellation request expressly requests demographic information from borrowers.”