Which Arizona businesses got paycheck protection loans?

By: - July 9, 2020 2:32 pm
Paycheck Protection Program

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More than 81,000 emergency loans worth as much as $13 billion were made to Arizona small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program aimed at saving a reported 680,000 jobs, according to data released July 7 by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The loan program, referred to commonly as PPP, was approved by Congress in late March as part of a $2 trillion coronavirus aid package that sent money to workers, businesses and the health care system as the nation grappled with the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SBA initially said it would not release information on the recipients of the more than $650 million that was allocated for the PPP, but relented in the face of litigation. The data released is incomplete, however. For instance, among paycheck protection loans greater than $150,000, the SBA provided only a range of the loan each business received. Meanwhile, loans less than $150,000 have a precise amount, but the borrowing business is not named.

The lack of detail makes drawing firm conclusions and making comparisons difficult in some cases, including determining exactly how much money came to Arizona businesses. We know that $2.93 billion was lent to nearly 70,000 businesses in increments less than $150,000. For larger loans, more than 11,000 businesses received between $4.1 billion and a little more than $10 billion.

But some things are clear. For instance, the 85260 ZIP code in north Scottsdale received more loans than any other in the state: 464 firms took out large loans (between $150,000 and $10 million) and 2,039 received small loans. Those companies reported on their loan applications that more than 34,000 jobs would be saved by the loans.

Restaurants were far and away the primary recipient of the larger emergency loans. According to the data, 641 full-service restaurants and 214 fast food, semi-casual or takeout restaurants secured loans worth $180 million to $308 million to save almost 68,000 jobs.

And there were 535 non-profit companies that received large loans to protect almost 46,000 jobs. Churches and other religious organizations took out the most loans, but the sector with the most jobs saved were private schools, which collectively said the loans would keep 7,842 people employed.

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Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications, the Yellow Sheet Report and Arizona Legislative Report. Under his guidance, the Capitol Times won numerous state, regional and national awards for its accountability journalism and probing investigations into state government operations.