Federal loans can be forgiven if jobs were retained
Nearly $36 million in forgivable payroll loans were requested by businesses and nonprofits in the Highlands this year to save at least 3,252 jobs, according to data released this month by the Small Business Administration.
The SBA provided some data in July about its Paycheck Protection Program but did not share the amounts requested for loans of less than $150,000 and only gave a range for those over $150,000. The new data, which includes the amount of each requested loan, was released following a court order. The payroll program ran for four months beginning April 4.
About 87 percent of the companies that made requests nationwide asked for $150,000 or less, according to analysis by The New York Times, but 1 percent of borrowers received a quarter of the funds.
The Paycheck Protection Program was established to provide businesses and nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees with low-interest loans to pay workers who might otherwise lose their jobs. If the borrower didn’t lay off employees or reduce salaries, the loan could be forgiven. The SBA noted that recipients who appear on its list must still be found eligible for loan forgiveness.
In the Highlands, loan requests totaled $35.6 million.
In Beacon, 363 businesses requested $19 million, including $2.24 million bythe Dutchess and Northern Westchester regional headquarters of the Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York (229 jobs); $1.5 million by HVEA Engineers (77 jobs); and $1.8 million by three Healey auto dealerships (120 jobs). The range of the other requests was $500 to $617,300, and the median was $17,300.
In Cold Spring and Philipstown, 144 businesses requested $8.67 million, with a median request of $20,900. (Highlands Current Inc., which publishes this newspaper, received $42,350 to retain five jobs.) T.Webber Plumbing & Heating requested $1.27 million for 82 jobs and Scanga Woodworking asked for $1.16 million for 64 jobs. The remainder ranged from $900 to $418,200.
In Garrison, 62 businesses requested $7.93 million, including $2.2 million by Wood Pro 2 installers and $1.78 million by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and St. Christopher’s Inn. The range of the remainder was $1,100 to $578,500, with a median of $16,250.
The data was collected by the SBA from the banks that issued the loans and has not been independently verified. As The Current noted in July, some information such as the numbers of jobs involved is missing or may be inaccurate. For example, the SBA data says the loan to Wood Pro 2 Installers would save four jobs, but in fact it kept 60 to 70 people on the payroll, said owner Denis Dillon. In addition, a representative for the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and St. Christopher’s Inn said the organizations applied for but decided not to take the funds.
I find it problematic that religious institutions received millions of PPP loans while many small businesses around our area who pay state and federal business, payroll and sales taxes were unable to access the federal business assistance loans and grants. None of these institutions that made out so well pay any taxes or contribute to the running of our government in any significant way, yet they constantly milk their struggling followers for even more money while wrapping themselves in gilt finery.