More than 600 Cape Town businesses have been approved for Paycheck Protection Program loans, according to data released by the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department in response to a lawsuit filed by news outlets and corporations. economic journals.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented shutdowns of many businesses, these loans were meant to help people who work and businesses stay viable until it is safely determined to reopen them.
“It was clearly a lifeline for us, and for all activity levels it was a lifeline,” said Patricia Nadle, CEO of Outer Cape Health Services. Outer Cape Health received $ 2.1 million in paycheck protection loans that helped its organization retain or bring back 158 of its 187 employees, Nadle said.
Nationally, data showed a total of 4.9 million loans in categories ranging from $ 150,000 to $ 350,000 up to $ 5 million to $ 10 million. The average loan size was $ 100,000, according to a news release from the agencies.
Businesses are in the process of submitting requests to cancel all or part of their loan as long as they can demonstrate that the money was used to cover paychecks in a specific eight or 24 pay period. weeks. Up to 40% of the loan amount could also be used for non-wage costs, such as mortgage payments or rent for commercial properties, utilities and transportation costs – and this could also be waived.
“It allowed us to do telehealth, schedule appointments and manage billing,” Nadle said. As a non-profit organization, Outer Cape Health serves many people with limited access to health care.
“If the lights went out at one of our three sites, there would be no access to health care,” Nadle said.
It was difficult to determine how much each Cape business received using SBA data, which gave a range for each amount awarded. Outer Cape Health, for example, has been listed as having received between $ 2 million and $ 5 million. It was a great program, designed and implemented quickly, and in some cases mistakes were made.
Barnstable’s BGRP Holdings LLC was listed in the database as having been approved for $ 5-10 million, but business owner Christopher Bedenkop said the company only had two employees and received $ 18,200. On paper, BGRP was one of only two local companies, the other being Cape Air, to receive loans of between $ 5 million and $ 10 million.
Bedenkop said the SBA confirmed the error on Thursday.
“A company may have been initially approved for a larger loan based on a data entry error from a lender,” said SBA spokeswoman Elizabeth Moisuk. “What most likely happened was that before the disbursement, the lender adjusted the amount. Public data reflects loans approved, which does not mean that the loan has been disbursed or funded.
This was the case for Integrated Statistics Inc. in Woods Hole. Although SBA data indicated the company received a loan of between $ 2-5 million, President Laura Shulman said the actual amount was less than $ 200,000. Shulman’s firm does consultancy work for federal and private scientific research and other entities, and the status of those projects was uncertain following a massive economic shutdown this spring.
Shulman said she initially requested the highest amount, but returned around $ 2 million once she realized that 90% of the work the company does can continue.
“I never know, sometimes government projects are closed and they put everyone out of work,” she said. “Once I figured out who I could keep a job I was able to give back over $ 2 million.”
William Bogdanovich, president and CEO of Broad Reach Healthcare, used most of the paycheck protection money of just over $ 3 million his company received to continue paying nearly $ 300. his employees.
“People are pretty hard to find, and the right people are even harder,” Bogdanovich said. The nursing home and assisted living facilities were unable to admit visitors and decided not to take on new clients, he said, resulting in millions of dollars in lost revenue due to vacancies. . The loan money allowed her to continue paying caregivers.
When the program was first unveiled, Bogdanovich thought it might be something to be avoided.
“The government’s ability to respond is not something I expected,” he said.
Bogdanovich now says he thinks he will be able to get 100% discount on the loan amount.
“I think it will definitely get us out of this much closer than not,” he said.
Follow Doug Fraser on Twitter: @dougfrasercct.