The Paycheck Protection Program, a federal loan program established to keep small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, awarded millions of dollars in emergency funds to businesses in Hattiesburg, Lumberton, Petal, Purvis and Sumrall.
According to data released July 6 by the United States Small Business Administration, 212 businesses in those areas received loans of more than $150,000, including 159 businesses in Hattiesburg, six in Lumberton, 19 in Petal, 22 in Purvis and six in Sumrall. The data indicated that these loans helped retain 11,800 jobs.
Four Hattiesburg businesses received loans ranging from $2 million to $5 million, including:
• Mississippi Tank and Manufacturing Company, which retained 211 jobs.
• Roberts Company, which retained 500 jobs.
• Southern Development Resources, which retained 230 jobs.
• Warren Paving, which retained 267 jobs.
Eleven businesses in those areas received loans ranging from $1 million to $2 million, including:
• BKS in Hattiesburg, which retained 250 jobs.
• CBW Fast Foods in Hattiesburg, which retained 267 jobs.
• Claiborne Senior Living in Hattiesburg, which retained 96 jobs.
• Courtesy Motors in Hattiesburg, which retained 154 jobs.
• Doleac Electric Company in Hattiesburg, which retained 109 jobs.
• Hattiesburg Health & Rehab Center, which retained 238 jobs.
• Pierce Automotive in Hattiesburg, which retained 85 jobs.
• Pine Belt Energy Services in Lumberton, which retained 53 jobs.
• Ramco in Purvis, which retained 212 jobs.
• RHW in Hattiesburg, which retained 328 jobs.
• Southern Eye Physicians Center in Hattiesburg, which retained 105 jobs.
Sixty-nine businesses received funds ranging from $350,000 to $1 million. The remaining 128 business loans ranged from $150,000 to $350,000.
The data revealed a number of other facts about the 212 businesses, including:
• Eight of the businesses are nonprofit organizations.
• Seventy-seven of the businesses disclosed that they are owned by veterans of the United States military.
• Fifteen of the businesses disclosed that they are owned by females.
• More than half of the businesses did not disclose the race or ethnicity of their owners, but 85 of the businesses did. Of those 85 businesses, 81 are white-owned, one is owned by an American Indian or Alaskan native, one is owned by an African American person and one is owned by a person of Hispanic origin.
The federal government has publicly disclosed the names of any businesses receiving loans of more than $150,000, but businesses with loans up to that amount are not identified.
Locally, there were 2,134 loans of up to $150,000 awarded, and those loans represent a cumulative total of more than $65 million. In Hattiesburg, there were 1,562 of those loans, and there were 56 in Lumberton, 239 in Petal, 138 in Purvis and 139 in Sumrall.
Identifying characteristics about those loans are largely unanswered in the data, but some of the information revealed in the data includes:
• The loans helped retain 10,921 jobs.
• Eighty-two of the loans were granted to nonprofit organizations.
• Eleven of the businesses disclosed that they are veteran-owned.
• At least 60 of the businesses are owned by African Americans, but the majority of the businesses – 1,494 – did not disclose the race or ethnicity of their owners.
The loan program, part of the $2 trillion CARES Act, is intended to encourage businesses to keep people employed. The amount of the individual loans is determined by average monthly payroll costs minus employees earning more than $100,000.
The program was designed to award loans to small businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors, self-employed persons and nonprofit organizations. Applicants must have 500 or fewer employees worldwide.
The loans must be used for items such as payroll costs, costs to continue health care benefits, mortgage interest payments, rent or utility payments, interest payments or refinancing a federal loan.
According to the federal government, the loans will be “fully forgiven” if the funds are used for those costs. 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.
The loan program was originally allotted $349 billion, and that amount was quickly exhausted between April 3 and April 16. Congress added an additional $320 billion to the program in late April, and the program is continuing to accept applications.
As of July 8, more than $521 billion has been given through nearly 5 million loans.
In the interest of full disclosure, the company that owns this news organization, Emmerich Newspapers, applied for and received $1 million to $2 million in program loans. The company is headquartered in Jackson and publishes daily and weekly newspapers throughout the state as well as in Dumas, Arkansas, and in two communities in Louisiana.