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July 7, 2020

New data shows 27,000 Maine businesses got over $2B in federal relief loans

A total of 27,198 Maine businesses have received more than $2 billion altogether in emergency relief loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, according to data released Monday.

The U.S. Small Business Administration disclosed specific information about individual PPP loans for the first time since the program launched April 3. To date, the SBA has administered 4.9 million loans nationwide, totaling $521.2 billion and issued through 5,460 lenders.

The program, created under the federal CARES Act, allows small businesses to borrow funds for many expenses as long as the businesses pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. If the businesses meet requirements for employee retention, the loans are forgiven, essentially becoming grants.

So far, PPP funds have helped retain over 51 million jobs including 80% of all those at small businesses, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a news release Monday. The average loan size has been $107,000.

For most of the loans, the data shows a wide variety of information including borrower names, addresses, business types, demographic information, the number of jobs supported, and a range for the loan amount. For loans under $150,000, the SBA released information without borrower names and addresses.

Access to the data comes after President Donald Trump and his administration received public criticism that they were keeping the information secret. 

“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.

The data shows 19 businesses in Maine received loans between $5 million and $10 million, the highest loan range broken out in the data. Proceeds allowed the companies to retain a total of roughly 6,500 jobs. Borrowers ranged from Alcom LLC, which produces aluminum trailers in Winslow, to forest industry manufacturer Woodland Pulp in Baileyville.

At Alcom, a loan issued April 5 by People’s United Bank helped the company keep 250 workers employed, after Alcom announced March 30 it was laying off most of its workforce. At Woodland Pulp, an April 9 loan from Machias Savings Bank helped keep 321 workers in their jobs.

Maine health care businesses have also been big borrowers through the PPP. The 19 recipients of the largest loans included InterMed P.A., a Portland-based primary care network, Mount Desert Island Hospital and five other care providers.

At the other extreme, 24,358 Maine businesses received PPP loans of under $150,000. The smallest one amounted to $71, issued June 2 by Bank of America to an unidentified business in Portland.

The PPP on Monday began accepting new applications for financial relief, after Trump recently signed legislation reappropriating the program. The deadline to apply for the new round of loans is Aug. 8.

Mainebiz recently hosted two webinars to guide businesses in applying for PPP loans. An April webcast, whose replay is available here, focused on basics of the program and how-to advice from experts. A webcast in June dealt with how businesses may qualify for loan forgiveness, and can be viewed by clicking here.

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