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More than 6,400 Clark County businesses receive Paycheck Protection Program loans

More than 6,400 Clark County businesses received loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to help them bridge the financial gap caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The money they received has helped protect more than one-third of all local jobs.

The loan amounts ranged from as little as a few hundred dollars all the way up to the top listed bracket of $5 million to $10 million, but the SBA divides the loans into two primary categories: Those below $150,000 and those above.

The breakdown for Clark County is 5,405 businesses in the smaller category and 1,003 businesses in the larger category, for a total of 6,408 businesses (excluding businesses in the city of Woodland unless they listed an address in Clark County).

The data also includes an estimate for the number of jobs that each loan recipient claimed to have saved by taking the loan, i.e. the number of workers who would have been furloughed or laid off without the extra payroll money.

Among Clark County businesses that received loans of less than $150,000, the estimated total number of saved jobs is 23,232.  Businesses receiving larger loans said the money helped save 43,277 jobs, for a combined total estimate of 66,509. Clark County’s total employment in March, before the start of the pandemic, was estimated at 172,100 jobs, according to regional economist Scott Bailey. That means more than one in three jobs was preserved by the program.

For the loans below $150,000, the total amount loaned out to Clark County businesses comes to $197.8 million, with an average loan size of approximately $36,600.

The SBA data doesn’t list specific values of the loans that exceeded $150,000, only a range.

In Clark County, 579 loans were in the range of $150,000 to 350,000; 308 fell in the range of $350,000 to $1 million; 77 fell in the range of $1 million to $2 million; 30 fell in a range of $2 million to $5 million and nine loans fell in the range of $5 million to $10 million.

(Disclosure: The Columbian Publishing Company received a loan in the $1 million to $2 million range.)

The minimum possible total for those loans would be approximately $377 million, and the maximum possible total would be approximately $905 million.

The nine loan recipients in the largest category were Tapani Inc., Sigma Design, Burgerville, Columbia Machine, Hannah Motor Company, One Good Putt, Prairie Electric, Rotschy and Wellons Group. They saved an estimated 2,774 jobs in total.

The U.S. Congress created the Paycheck Protection Program in late March as part of a massive federal COVID-19 relief package. Businesses applied for the low-interest loans through local lending institutions, with the loans guaranteed by the SBA. The loans can be partially or fully forgiven if business owners use the funds in accordance with a set of rules including spending a majority of the money on payroll expenses.

The program initially rolled out April 3, funded by an initial pot of $349 billion. That funding ran out less than two weeks later, prompting Congress to boost it with another $320 billion in late April. The program originally had an application cutoff deadline of June 30, but last week Congress extended the deadline to Aug. 8. An estimated $130 billion remained in the pot at the time.


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