1,500 Licking County businesses, churches and nonprofits have secured P3 assistance
Law firms, car dealerships, museums, schools and restaurants were among the tens of thousands of Ohio businesses approved for loans a federal coronavirus assistance program.
The Small Business Administration released a list of paycheck protection program beneficiaries on Monday.
The list includes companies and groups approved for loans, but does not specify whether they actually received the money.
In Ohio, 140,270 companies have been approved for loans totaling nearly $ 18.4 billion as of June 30.
Among the companies in central Ohio that received loans between $ 5 million and $ 10 million (the highest amount) included glass maker Anchor Hocking, restaurants like Cameron Mitchell and Buca di Beppo, firms of lawyers such as Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, auto dealers including Ricart Automotive. and the Thirty-One Gifts direct sales company.
“We applied for the loan in early April. There were uncertain economic times ahead of us, ”said Ron Davies, president and CEO of Columbus insurer Safe Auto, which was approved for a loan of $ 5 million to $ 10 million. “We wanted to curl up, keep our team and work for the future.”
Safe Auto was ultimately able to return most of the money it received, Davies said.
Other companies did not return calls or declined to comment on the loans.
In Licking County, nearly 1,500 entities have been approved for loans, including large businesses, small nonprofits, churches and schools.
Jennifer McDonald, president and CEO of the Licking County Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber has studied the program to help members learn how they might qualify – including video conferences with the SBA and elected officials . The chamber also offered a video conference on the loan forgiveness process.
“I am impressed and delighted that so many local businesses have benefited from the PPP,” she said. “It has been essential for many businesses to stay afloat until they can reopen during mandatory closings.”
KE Gutridge LLC, of Newark, was the local company approved for the largest loan – between $ 5 million and $ 10 million. Others approved for between $ 2 million and $ 5 million were Equity Resources, of Newark, J&D Home Improvements, of Etna, and Robertson Construction, of Heath.
Tom Werner, president and co-owner of KE Gutridge, said the company employs nearly 400 people with annual sales of $ 85 million to $ 90 million. Half of the employees work in Licking County and the other half in Franklin County. He said the program helped the company continue to employ its workers, with up to 85% of the loan going to payroll.
Werner noted that since the coronavirus shutdown, the company has been 30% behind on its revenue targets.
“The intention was for PPP to provide money to stabilize or help companies provide the payroll,” he said.
Behavior Healthcare Partners was the nonprofit approved for the largest loan, between $ 1 million and $ 2 million. St. Francis DeSales in Newark was the church with the largest loan approved, between $ 350,000 and $ 1 million.
Bill Davis, director of finance for the Diocese of Columbus, said all diocesan organizations that provided loans accepted them and used them on employee wages and benefits while churches were closed while at home. Catholic churches closed in mid-March and reopened on May 25 for in-person services.
“Typically, given the significant decrease in donations following the closure of churches during the pandemic, cuts in public funding for schools, the cancellation of major fundraisers (paying employees) don’t would not have been possible, in many places, without the help. PPP loans, ”Davis said.
Granville Christian Academy, Newark Catholic High School, Par Excellence and Welsh Hills School have all been approved for loans between $ 150,000 and $ 350,000.
While businesses, charities, and other groups can borrow up to $ 10 million, most of the money has gone to very small businesses.
Of the 140,270 loans approved in Ohio, 84% of them were for $ 150,000 or less. In the communities of Licking County, nearly 1,300 of the loans approved were for $ 150,000 or less.
Nationally, 4.9 million loans totaling $ 520 billion have been approved.
The names of the companies that received $ 150,000 or less were withheld for what the SBA said were confidentiality reasons. (The Associated Press and other news outlets are suing for the names.)
The Paycheck Protection Program offers loans designed to encourage small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
Loans will be canceled if all employees remain employed for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.
Companies which lay off part of their staff may be required to reimburse part of the money.
The loans were part of the package Congress was taking to help the economy weather the coronavirus lockdowns. This included stimulus checks for most families and extended unemployment benefits.
About $ 131 billion remains available under the program.
The deadline to apply for loans is August 8, but banks have encouraged interested businesses to start working on the loans soon to avoid missing the deadline.
Kent Mallett, lawyer, contributed to this report.