POTSDAM — Data released by the Small Business Administration on Monday shows over $172 million in federal funding through the Paycheck Protection Program, also known as PPP, has been distributed to nearly 2,700 businesses and nonprofit organizations in Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties.
The data is the first release by the SBA which shows about how much some of the top recipients under the program received within various brackets.
A total of 341 recipients in the four counties received more than $150,000 under the PPP, the threshold for public disclosure. Carthage Area Hospital, a nonprofit organization, was the top recipient overall receiving between $5 million and $10 million. Five other entities received between $2 million and $5 million. Those include the Children’s Home of Jefferson County, Fuccillo Automotive Group, Purcell Construction Corporation, Renzi Bros Inc. and the Stebbins Engineering and Manufacturing Company. All are based in Jefferson County. The zip codes that received the most money are Watertown, Massena, Potsdam, Ogdensburg, Clayton and Canton.
Johnson Newspaper Corporation, the owner of the Watertown Daily Times, was among 24 organizations that received between $1 million and $2 million. The money was used to fund eight weeks of payroll for the company’s 243 employees throughout the north country, Batavia, Malone and the Hudson Valley, which includes five daily newspapers and four weeklies across the state, while the papers saw significant declines in advertising revenue due to the economic shutdown.
“The PPP is truly serving the needs of small businesses, especially as 27 percent of the program’s reach has gone into low- and moderate-income areas and the average national loan size is about $100,000,” SBA Regional Administrator Steve Bulger said in a Tuesday release.
While analysis of area zip codes using 2017 census bureau data level by the Times shows a fairly normal distribution on loans across areas based on average income, only about one in five businesses and nonprofits received more than $100,000. The median loan amount for the four counties was roughly $28,000, with some smaller businesses receiving as little as $1,000 or less in a few cases. Since the loan amounts for higher tier recipients above $150,000 are only noted as ranges in the data, it’s impossible to determine the exact average for the area, but it falls somewhere between $66,000 and $116,000.
The data provided by the SBA included zip codes for each entity receiving a loan. Using an open source spreadsheet from Open Data NY, the state’s free data hub, the Times generated a list of all zip codes for Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence and Oswego counties. The SBA data was then narrowed down using that list of zip codes.
The Paycheck Protection Program opened shortly after passage of the federal CARES Act and is meant to be a “direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll,” according to the SBA website. The data reflects the number of jobs retained for each business that receives funds. On average, recipients of under $150,000 claimed they were retaining five jobs. The average recipient was loaned only about $7,000 per retained job.
Loans through the Paycheck Protection Program are not distributed directly by the SBA. Entities apply for them through lending institutions, which then have the loans certified and guaranteed through the SBA on behalf of the Treasury Department.
The majority of loans processed in the region have been through local financial institutions as opposed to larger national names. Watertown Savings Bank processed 616, or 23 percent, of all PPP loans. Community Bank, Northern Credit Union and KeyBank each processed over 200 loans. The NY Business Development Corporation, a nonprofit institution charged with disbursing SBA loans prior to the PPP, was also one of the top lenders locally.
Lawmakers have passed an extension to the PPP, allowing businesses and non-profits to apply for loans until Aug. 8, 2020.