Arizona businesses received more than 85,000 emergency pandemic loans worth $8.6 billion under the Paycheck Protection Program. The loans were used to keep a claimed 887,000 workers employed, according to data released this week 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 from nearly a dozen media organizations. In July, it released partial data that obscured the exact amounts of large loans and the recipients of smaller loans.
However, a federal judge in November rejected the agency’s argument that revealing the loan totals would indirectly expose private companies’ payroll information, and ordered the SBA to fully release borrower and loan information.
The new data includes the name of every company that received a PPP loan, regardless of its size, and also exact amounts for each company. Among the loans to companies headquartered in Arizona, there were 11 that borrowed the maximum $10 millio
Those companies include Scottsdale-based P.F. Chang’s restaurants; SFE, a Scottsdale company that provides food service to school districts; and Tucson-based Arizona Community Physicians, a medical care group with more than 50 offices in Arizona.
The average loan was for $101,636 — two dollars less than Sierra Vista landscaping company Cochise Stone borrowed in late April to pay employee costs.
The median amount borrowed was $24,333, an amount borrowed by both a Queen Creek dentist’s office and a Florence-based cleaning company.
The 85260 ZIP code in north Scottsdale received more loans than any other in the state: 2,578 firms took loans worth nearly $342 million.
There were nearly 1,800 non-profit entities that received loans ranging in size from $10 million — received by the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority — to $704 for Robinson Ranch, a south Phoenix non-profit that teaches horseback riding to underprivileged kids and therapy for disabled children and adults. In total, non-profits reported using the money to pay for more than 51,000 jobs.
Roughly 700 churches and ministry organizations received a collective $72.4 million in emergency loans. The largest, for $4.2 million, went to Christ’s Church of the Valley, a nondenominational Christian congregation that operates campuses in Peoria, Phoenix and Scottsdale. The money went to pay salaries for 441 employees, the church reported.
There were also more than 300 charter and private schools that were granted $99.2 million in PPP loans.