PHOENIX (3 On Your Side) - More than 81,000 Arizona businesses and nonprofits have received forgivable loans through the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program totaling $8.6 billion, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Under mounting pressure, the SBA released detailed information about loan recipients, including loan amounts and company names for loans over $150,000. According to the data, 58 businesses in Arizona received between $5 and $10 million, the maximum amount allowed under the program. But the vast majority of loans, approximately 86%, are valued under $150,000.
"The program, after some early turbulence, seems to be working as intended so that smaller businesses with as few as one or two employees were able to access funding that allowed them not only to keep their payrolls up and running but to meet things like rent payments and payments to vendors," said Garrick Taylor from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. "That is what was intended. We want to keep as many businesses afloat during this very unusual time as possible."
According to information businesses provided to the SBA, PPP loans saved 1 million Arizona jobs.
"I think the action of Congress to push as much money as they did into the system arguably saved our economy," said Chris Camacho, the president of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. "I still think more is going to have to be done as we enter the next phase of COVID, but really important that these companies had access to capital."
Some businesses secured more capital than others. According to the data, several companies with multiple LLCs received more than one loan.
"One of the designs of the program -- this is especially important in the hospitality sector -- where let's say you're a franchisee, you own two or three fast-food franchises, you want to protect the jobs at each of those locations. So, it allowed applicants to disaggregate their business locations so they could apply to protect the jobs regardless of under which roof they might fall," Taylor said.
The first round of PPP loans ran out quickly, and many big businesses were called on to return the money they received. Lawmakers expanded the program, which currently has $131 billion remaining for small companies with fewer than 500 employees. The new deadline to apply for a PPP loan is August 8.
Nationally, 4.9 million PPP loans have been granted to date. In a statement Monday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the program is supporting 51 million jobs. Though the average loan size is about $100,000, the Treasury and SBA are withholding the names of businesses that received PPP loans under $150,000.
"Today's release of loan data strikes the appropriate balance of providing the American people with transparency while protecting sensitive payroll and personal income information of small businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors," Mnuchin said.
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