In a massive effort to keep employers writing paychecks during the pandemic, the federal government pumped more than $80 million into Peoria businesses in a loan-forgiveness program.
The loans protected 15,000 Peoria jobs.
Businesses who maintain full employment will not have to pay back the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
Going out to construction companies, contractors, health care providers, car dealers, restaurants, churches and other businesses, the funds were to be used to protect at least 15,000 Peoria jobs—and avoid mass layoffs—as the economy reeled during COVID-19 shutdowns.
Four Peoria businesses landed loans between $2 million and $5 million: OakCraft, a cabinet making and woodworking company with 275 employees; World Staffing, which employs 370; Immanuel’s Care Center, with 246 employees; and TYR Tactical, 297 employees.
Six more Peoria companies were granted PPP loans between $1 million and $2 million: Arizona Training and Evaluation Center, with 373 employees; Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit that builds homes for low-income families and has 118 employees; One Step Beyond, which supports people with intellectual disabilities and has 488 employees; R. Directional Drilling and Underground Technology, which has 90 employees; TEJ Inc., with 224 employees; and Tucson Peah, which said it has 104 employees.
Eighteen businesses in Peoria received loans between $350,000 and $1 million.
Thirty-six Peoria companies landed loans in the $150,000-$350,000 range.
In the under-$150,000 category, 1,802 Peoria businesses received a total of $55 million (an average of $30,000) in PPP loans, protecting an estimated 10,876 jobs.
In the largest category of loans, more than 3,900 jobs were protected.
Records released by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in July show details of the funding by the PPP. Nationally, the program gushed out $520 billion to 5 million businesses.
According to PPP guidelines: “Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.”
And there may be more money headed this way, as the PPP, which launched in April, resumed accepting applications from early July through Saturday, Aug. 8.
The SBA did not identify the entities that each borrowed less than $150,000 but included the names and addresses of those that borrowed $150,000 or more. Both categories show the number of the companies’ employees.
At the higher end, the SBA was not specific in the loan amount, listing recipients only within one of five categories of loan ranges: $150,000 to $350,000, $350,000 to $1 million, $1 million to $2 million, $2 million to $5 million and $5 million to $10 million.
OakCraft describes itself as “a family-owned company located in Peoria. For over 30 years, OakCraft has been known for manufacturing elegant custom and semi-custom cabinetry across the Southwest.”
World Staffing is an employment company: “We recruit and match people with awesome companies.”
Immanuel’s Care Center is a senior center that provides a range from independent to assisted living: “Our team of caring nurses, therapists and nursing assistants offer a variety of therapeutic and restorative services.”
TYR Tactical has a 78,000-square-foot facility in Peoria, where it makes body armor, shields and ammunition belts.
Others receiving loans between $150,000 and $300,000: Eve’s Place, Sun City RV, Nutrition One, State Trailer, and dozens of construction companies and contractors.
The PPP loan funds—described by the SBA as “a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll”—are part of the $2 trillion pandemic relief package approved by Congress in March that also included other assistance to individuals, businesses, and local and state governments.
PPP loans are aimed at preserving jobs by helping borrowers maintain their payroll and stay afloat by using some of the money for rent, mortgage interest or utilities.
Arizona’s share of the PPP money totaled between $6.5 billion and $12.5 billion.
While some wanted more details in the loan recipient data, lobbyists for organizations like the National Federation of Independent Business were reported to be concerned that businesses would be hurt competitively or subjected to “public shaming” if identities were disclosed.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the way the loan data was released “strikes the appropriate balance of providing the American people with transparency, while protecting sensitive payroll and personal income information of small businesses, sole proprietors and independent contractors.”