The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program was a bright spot in the dark shadow cast this year by the coronavirus pandemic.
Nationwide, 5.2 million PPP loans totaling $525 billion were distributed. Of that, roughly 4.5 million were for amounts of $150,000 or less, according to SBA data. In Missouri, around $9.2 billion was issued though 91,500 loans.
The program was among those funded through the $2.2 trillion federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The funding, which is intended to cover payroll costs, rent and utility payments, has been a lifeline for many businesses communitywide amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of early July, PPP funding was injected into the local economy to the tune of $250 million to $600 million via 657 loans of at least $150,000 dispersed to Springfield businesses, according to SBA data.
Among the local businesses that received PPP funding, seven companies were awarded funds in the $5 million-$10 million range. Those businesses are Chicago Bread LLC; Indiana Western Express Inc.; Integrity Home Care LLC; Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Co.; Redneck Inc.; Springfield Grocer Co.; and Wendy’s of New England LLC.
In early October, the SBA began approving PPP loan forgiveness applications and sending forgiveness payments. Loan recipients have 10 months from when they received PPP funds to apply for forgiveness. Borrowers have to repay their bank with 1% interest assessed if the loans aren’t forgiven.
Local bank officials said the lengthy process – 60 days for lenders to submit applications to SBA, and 90 days for SBA to make a final decision and send funds to banks – means forgiveness application decisions could continue into 2022.
Once a week this time of year, roughly 150 men trade business suits and work attire for baseball uniforms – complete from caps to cleats – for the Grip N Rip Baseball league.