Find out where the Paycheck Protection Program funds went in Alabama | COVID-19 coronavirus news
MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) – Alabama businesses have secured billions of dollars from a small business loan program, which the federal government says has saved more than 672,000 jobs threatened by the COVID outbreak -19.
Under pressure for greater transparency, the Small Business Administration this week released information on the Paycheck Protection Program, naming companies that have received at least $ 150,000 in loans. For businesses that received less than that, the administration provided the zip code, loan amount, and number of jobs kept by each business – but did not identify the business.
“The PPP brings much needed relief to millions of American small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs and more than 80% of all employees in small businesses, which are the engines of our country’s economic growth,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
- Continental Aerospace Technologies in Foley, which retained 264 jobs.
- Felder Services, a mobile company that provides janitorial services, which has retained 500 jobs.
- Norton Lilly International, a company that provides shipping services and has a location in Mobile. He retained 412 local jobs.
27 other businesses on the Alabama coast have obtained loans ranging from $ 2 million to $ 5 million.
For businesses that obtained loans under $ 150,000, the postal code data shows a wide range. For example, a company with zip code 36590 in Theodore received $ 11,250 and kept only one employee. Meanwhile, 935 businesses in Fairhope ZIP code 36532 have collectively received more than $ 27.5 million and retained 3,617 jobs.
Big or small, loans have been a lifeline for businesses hit hard by the pandemic, according to Darrell Randle, vice president of small business development at the Mobile Zone Chamber of Commerce.
“It has been extremely helpful,” he said. “In some cases, I’m not sure some companies could have survived without it. “
Now, said Randle, the goal is to make sure that all of those loans turn into grants. This can happen if businesses follow the rules about how that money is spent. He told FOX10 News the chamber is working with small businesses to help them navigate the application process and comply with the rules.
“I hope that of those we have advised, those we have spoken to (regarding) PPP, 100% of them will turn into grants, because in reality, the thing that PPP was designed to do was to ‘Bring your employees back to work as soon as the stay-at-home orders are complete, ”he said.
Randle said some small business owners expressed frustration with the rules, which included returning laid-off workers within eight weeks of the loan application date. But he noted that Congress subsequently amended the law to provide more flexibility, including extending the deadline to 24 weeks.
Last week, Congress also extended the program for an additional five weeks as lawmakers negotiate another potential round of large-scale assistance. Brian Pifer, vice-presenter of entrepreneurship at advocacy group Small Business Majority, said he hopes such legislation will give companies with fewer than 100 employees a second bite of an apple.
“Because the first round is almost over,” he said. “The people who received it in early April, if they were still under the original eight week deadline, that money is running out and as we see the (coronavirus) cases increase and government restrictions come back, you know, the customers will leave. “
Pifer also said he hoped the new legislation would include more direct grants and flexibility allowing companies to use the funds for more varied purposes.
“Businesses have other needs besides payroll, don’t they? ” he said. “They have rent. They have other existing business obligations that they need to modernize their businesses now to comply with social distancing and other factors. And the PPP was kind of limited in that regard in terms of what they could spend their money versus what they couldn’t.
Some $ 130 billion of the program has still not been spent. Pifer said it was a sign that the need had been met to some extent. But he added that a survey of his organization’s network suggests that about 30% have never gotten loans from the Paycheck Protection Program. He attributed this, in part, to the rules that were “slow to come out and change all the time” regarding the loan cancellation program and confusion over the eligibility of self-employed and sole proprietors.
Even as most states are now reopening and businesses are adjusting, Pifer said, the crisis is far from over.
“Business owners by their nature are pretty resourceful and, you know, are used to understanding things,” he said. “But they still need more government support to get through this and I think, you know, that some industries – especially restaurants, which are already operating with tiny profits – are really going to have a hard time until the things are really getting back to normal. “
Below is an interactive map showing how much paycheck protection program money has gone to businesses in each Alabama zip code. It does not include loans to businesses that have received loans over $ 150,000. Hover over each point to see how much money companies have received and how many jobs they have kept.
The map below shows the towns of Mobile and Baldwin counties. Fly over a city to see how many jobs have been saved with loans over $ 150,000.
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