An effort established under the auspices of this spring’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to help small businesses weather the COVID-19 economic shutdown has resulted in the issuance of more than five million loans with a total dollar value of $521 billion.
The Payroll Protection Program, as administered by the Small Business Administration, was specifically designed to not just help smaller businesses across the country maintain their payrolls, but also to help them stay open for business.
According to new statistics just released by the Treasury Department, the average loan size under the PPP has worked out to around $107,000, with the vast majority of businesses approved for a loan within weeks of the program’s launching.
Some 85 percent of Arizona’s small businesses applying for help were approved; while the approval rate for Colorado businesses stood at 83 percent.
New Mexico businesses saw a slightly lower approval rate at 77 percent.
Overall, states in the Plains region of the country and the West had the highest business application approval rates, ranging from New Mexico’s 77 percent to South Dakota’s 93 percent.
The actual PPP dollar amount has worked out to $8.6 billion for businesses in Arizona; $10.4 billion for Colorado businesses; and $2.2 billion for businesses in the Land of Enchantment.
More specifically, money coming into what are officially defined as Historically Underutilized Business Zones, or areas with pockets of poverty and lower economic development, saw $2.2 billion for Arizona, $2.6 billion for Colorado, and $800 million for New Mexico.
Nationally, businesses in the healthcare and social assistance sector received $67.3 billion in loans; followed by scientific and technical services at $66.4 billion, and the construction industry at $64.6 billion.
Initially budgeted at $349 billion, the Payroll Protection Program was authorized in April to lend another $310 billion to small businesses.
As of the last day of June, the program still has available around $132 billion in loan support for small business applicants.
In a statement, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the PPP is “providing much-needed relief to millions of American small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs and over 80 percent of all small business employees who are the drivers of economic growth in our country.”
Mnuchin added that the average loan size of $100,000 demonstrates that the program is “serving the smallest of businesses.”
By Garry Boulard
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