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Forgivable loan program is now reaching more small businesses, including plenty in Oregon.

COURTESY PHOTO: SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION - Paycheck Protection Program loans are distributed nationally, but California and four other big states dominate.

The latest Paycheck Protection Program loans are finally going to more small businesses than large.

After the scandal of 2020, when larger corporations such as Shake Shack and the Los Angeles Lakers obtained government loans to get them through the pandemic, latest data from the Small Business Administration show that of the $164.9 billion of taxpayer money dished out so far in 2021, 74% of the loans are for $50,000, while nearly 91% are for $150,000 or less.

The PPP is an SBA-backed loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The average 2021 PPP loan size is dropping week by week, the SBA reports, falling from $75,000 to $68,000 in the last three weeks.

"This shows the smallest of the small businesses — also known as mom-and-pops — are receiving this vital economic aid," the SBA said in a release Monday, March 8.

COURTESY PHOTO: SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION - As Dolly Parton said, Forgiveness is all there is. PPP loans are being forgiven at a high rate because they are being spent, as intended, mostly on payroll to keep businesses open and unemployment down.

Oregonians are getting theirs, too: 26,898 loans valued at $2.18 billion have been approved in the Beaver state in 2021.

In Portland, typical awards went to Conscious Capitalism of 3945 NE Stanton St ($145,500), Sterling Coffee Roasters of 518 NW 21st Ave. ($53,344) and Woodblock Chocolate of 1715 NE 17th Ave ($50,850) and women's clinic Lovejoy Surgicenter (now closed) at 933 NW 25th Avenue ($146,700).

The Oregonian/OregonLive (through its parent company Advance Local) is also seeking a loan, now that media companies with over 500 employees are included. Willamette Week received $448,000 in May 2020.

Pamplin Media is now also exploring the possibility of a PPP loan.

COURTESY PHOTO: SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION - PPP loans are going to more small businesses, after an outcry last summer when large corporations benefitted more often.

The top industries receiving PPP approvals are:

  • Accommodation & Food Service (NAICS Code 72) — 18% of all PPP loans
  • Construction — 13%
  • Professional, Scientific & Technical Services — 11%
  • Health & Social Assistance — 11%)
  • Manufacturing — 10%
  • PPP loans are supposed to be spent mostly on payroll. If they are, they will be forgiven and count as a grant. The lending institution will be repaid by the government/US taxpayer. If not spent largely on payroll to keep businesses open, the loans must be repaid to the lending institution.

    COURTESY PHOTO: SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION - Paycheck Protection Program loans are going to hard-hit food and hospitality companies, but construction companies have their hands out for help, too.

    California, New York, Texas, Florida and Illinois are the top five states receiving PPP loans.

    So far $521.2 billion of the 2020 loans has been forgiven.

    Construction is the second biggest sector receiving PPP loans, after Accommodation and Food services.

    The biggest businesses are largely sitting this one out. In 2021, only 3% of loans were in the $2 million to $5 million range, and only 0.3% were above $5 million.

    The government has made the entire database of loans available a searchable spreadsheet and added a webpage of resources, including a search function to find local counselors, a way to check PPP loan status, a series of on-demand webinars targeted to different small business communities and PPP information in 17 different languages.


    Joseph Gallivan
    Reporter, The Business Tribune
    971-204-7874
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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