The Treasury Department on Monday released the names of more than 650,000 small businesses that received funds from a government program intended to support the economy as states shut down in April to contain the viral outbreak, according to a report by the Associated Press.
However, the Treasury identified just a fraction of the total borrowers, naming only those companies that got more than $150,000. Those firms made up less than 15% of the nearly 5 million small companies that received loans.
The average loan amount for the entire program was $107,000, the Treasury Department said in a broad summary of the program. The government handed out $521 billion through the Paycheck Protection Program, a crucial piece of the government’s $2 trillion rescue package. The loans can be forgiven if the businesses mostly use the money to continue paying their workers. The program initially was set to expire June 30 but was extended last week to Aug. 8.
The public may never know the identity of more than 80% of the nearly 5 million beneficiaries to date because the administration has refused to release details on loans under $150,000. That secrecy spurred a lawsuit by news organizations including The Associated Press.
In a document obtained by KATC, it shows more than 64.000 Louisiana businesses were awarded some dollar amount under $150,000. Those businesses aren't named, they're only identified by the type of business they are, what city they are in, and how many employees they have.
Almost 1,500 businesses from Acadiana were named after being granted more than $150,000 by the Treasury Department.
15 were in the top tier of getting $5-10 million dollars each, reporting they retained between 80 and 500 jobs. The businesses, many related to the oil-industry, included: SLEMCO, Abbeville General Hospital, Acadian Contractors, Kergan Brothers, Conrad Industries, FDF Energy Services, Coil Tubing Partners, Immunotek Bio Centers, Allison Marine Holdings, Reme LLC, Gordon Technologies, Hutco, Gravois Aluminum Boats, Linear Controls, and Analytic Stress Relieving Inc.
We've separated all the businesses by the parishes they are located in and have them linked below:
Some questions and answers about the PPP (Associated Press):
WHAT DOES THE PPP AIM TO DO?
The program aims to motivate small businesses to retain their employees or, if they have laid them off, get them back to work. The primary incentive for companies to seek PPP loans is the offer of forgiveness if most of the money — originally 75% but later revised to 60% — is used for payroll. Businesses can borrow up to $10 million based on their payroll costs; the loans carry a 1% interest rate and deferred payments for six months. Owners can also use the money for rent, mortgage interest and insurance. If businesses cut jobs or employees’ pay, they’d have to repay some of the money.
HOW DO COMPANIES GET FORGIVENESS?
Owners must use the loan money within 24 weeks after receiving it; that number was also revised, from an original eight weeks. When the money is spent, businesses can apply for forgiveness by documenting how much of it was used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, insurance or other expenses.
Many businesses like restaurants and retailers whose revenue either slowed dramatically or stopped altogether are concerned that they’ll end up having to repay part of the money because they’ve had to use some of it to restart their companies.
HAS THE PPP SUCCEED IN SAVING JOBS?
The full answer to that question won’t be known for months, when owners have filed their forgiveness applications that must document how many workers they had on their payroll. Some companies like restaurants and retailers may still not have enough revenue because of social distancing requirements and slower consumer spending, and they may be reluctant to rehire all their staffers.
If the nation’s unemployment rate is an indication, the PPP did indeed save jobs. After soaring to 14.7% in April, it fell to 13.3% in May and 11.1% in June as businesses reopened. However, it’s not known what impact the surge in cases of coronavirus this past month will have on employee hiring and retention.
HAVE COMPANIES BEEN SATISFIED WITH THE PROGRAM?
The reaction has been mixed. Certainly, companies that got loan money were happy to have a cushion but for many, there are still worries about having a debt to pay off.
Businesses that hire independent contractors can’t include what they pay those workers in their calculations, and so the money they borrowed was far less than what they needed. Sole proprietors and new companies have had a hard time applying and getting money.
A series of obstacles marred and slowed the application process. The SBA approved more than 4.8 million loans in less than three months, far more than the 58,000 it approved in 2019. There were computer issues and backlogs at the agency and at banks in the early going. Many banks also enraged owners at the start by rejecting their applications if they didn’t have multiple accounts including existing loans or lines of credit. And some of the biggest banks in the country took a week or more to start accepting applications.
The problems made it more difficult for minority businesses to get loans, according to a report from the Center for Responsible Lending, a research group.
Once they submitted their applications, many owners waited weeks without knowing their status. Some applied at several banks, hoping for better service. Their frustration was likely fed in part by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s forecast that they might get loan money the same day they applied.
Some owners were so frustrated by the process or concerned about forgiveness that they gave up and didn’t apply or withdrew their applications.
IS THAT WHY THERE’S MONEY LEFT OVER?
That’s part of it. But the unclaimed amount also includes approximately $30 billion of dollars returned by large companies including high-profile names like the Los Angeles Lakers and restaurant chains Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Shake Shack. Many well-financed companies eventually returned the money amid pressure from the public and the Treasury Department. Senior administration officials who briefed reporters before the data was released said it was expected from the beginning that money would be left over.
IS OTHER GOVERNMENT AID AVAILABLE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES?
The Federal Reserve has created the Main Street Lending Program for small and mid-sized businesses. It offers loans starting at $250,000 with no principal payments for two years. Companies apply for the loans through banks.
The SBA is also making what are called economic injury disaster loans and grants available to businesses. Owners need to apply directly to the SBA through its website, www.sba.gov.
Many state and local governments and community development organizations are also making loans and grants available.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, click HERE.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Evening News Headlines, Latest COVID-19 Headlines, Morning News Headlines, Special Offers