13,000 PPP Loans Were Approved throughout the Capital Region
As the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the economy, banks approved more than 13,000 loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support Capital Region businesses, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of new U.S. Small Business Administration data.
Regional PPP Impacts
Between April 3 and June 30, banks approved 13,001 PPP loans for businesses and nonprofits throughout the eight-county region. Regionwide, 83.2 percent of PPP loans were below $150,000 and 14.9 percent were between $150,000 and $1 million. In all, there were 238 (1.8 percent) PPP loans over $1 million, of which only 11 were in the $5 million to $10 million range. It is not clear how many of the approved loans were subsequently cancelled or returned to the SBA.
The most loans were approved in Saratoga County (3,416). However, whereas Saratoga County had the most loans under $150,000 (2,956), Albany County had the most over $150,000 (866).
The payroll support provided by the program helped mitigate what were already historic job losses in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown of nonessential business that it triggered in mid-March. For example, the number of Capital Region unemployment insurance beneficiaries climbed to 67,300 in May – more than double its previous peak in March 2009. The region’s 9.8 percent unemployment rate in May was above last recession’s peak of 8.5 percent in February 2012.
Congress approved the $348 billion PPP in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help small businesses (<500 employees), independent contractors, sole proprietors, the self-employed, and nonprofits. It provided them with SBA 7(a) loans of up to $10 million that could go toward payroll, rent, mortgage and utility obligations. The loans could be forgivable so long as 75 percent of the loan went to payroll.
In addition to advising businesses on the PPP, CEG has been supported Capital Region businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic by helping them meet workforce reduction mandates, pivot to make personal protection equipment and medical equipment, and prepare for the restart of the regional economy. By the end of Q1 2020, CEG’s Business Growth Solutions unit (BGS) had engaged 67 manufacturing and startup companies, completed 13 manufacturing projects/events, and had 15 ongoing projects going into Q2. Projects engagement include, ISO, FDA, Lean, Sandler Training, Value Prop, Product Design, and Commercialization with a range of companies.
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