SBA report shows Texas, California lead payroll aid recipients

More than a million loans totaling $247.5 billion have been approved to help companies keep their workers

A closed for business sign is seen on the Wonderland Ballroom in Washington’s Columbia Heights neighborhood during the coronavirus outbreak on April 7, 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
A closed for business sign is seen on the Wonderland Ballroom in Washington’s Columbia Heights neighborhood during the coronavirus outbreak on April 7, 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:34pm

Ten days after the Small Business Administration began accepting applications for its emergency forgivable loan program, more than a million loans totaling $247.5 billion have been approved to help companies keep their workers during the coronavirus economic shutdown, the agency said Tuesday.

The agency's report offers the first glimpse of where the Paycheck Protection Program funds are going, and how quickly the money is moving to struggling small businesses. White House officials say the program’s funds won’t last to the end of the week without Congress appropriating more.

The program was established in the third COVID-19 rescue bill and provided with $349 billion in funds.

Republicans want to inject another $251 billion into the program without making any changes, but Democrats have countered with a $500 billion proposal that would set aside $60 billion for lenders serving underbanked small businesses, plus another $150 billion for states, $100 billion for hospitals and 15 percent more for food stamps.

As of Monday, 4,664 lenders have processed 1,035,086 loans with the SBA, totaling $247.5 billion. The PPP works through the SBA’s existing Section 7(a) loan guarantee program. In all of fiscal year 2019, the SBA approved 51,000 loans totaling $23.2 billion.

[CBO: Unemployment rate could hit 12 percent by summer]

The program aims to help small businesses retain their workforces while quarantine measures have reduced economic activity by about a third. Small businesses can apply for 10 weeks worth of their payroll up to $10 million. If they use the money to pay employees and other fixed costs, the debt will be forgiven. 

The loans appear to be going out to red states and blue states alike: Texas businesses have received the most loans, at 88,434, and the greatest in dollar value, at $21.8 billion, followed by California’s $20.9 billion across 54,922 loans, according to the report.

The loans have also gone to a range of industries. Construction leads the industry list, receiving $34 billion, or 13.7 percent of the PPP loans.

So far, the average recipient has been approved for $239,152, the report said. 

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