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Which Dayton manufacturers landed big Paycheck Protection loans?

Hartzell Propeller owner Tailwind Technologies received a Paycheck Protection loan in the largest category, $5 million to $10 million, according to recent federal data. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Hartzell Propeller owner Tailwind Technologies received a Paycheck Protection loan in the largest category, $5 million to $10 million, according to recent federal data. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

Dayton-area manufacturers were prominent among those who were able to take advantage of federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, according to data the Small Business Administration made public this week.

Kettering brakes and suspension systems producer BWI North America Inc. was among those who received a PPP loan in the range of $5 million to $10 million, the largest category of loans.

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Accounting and tax firm Clark Schaefer Hackett & Co., which works with many local manufacturers, also was in that category, as were Miamisburg’s Dayton Superior Corp., Vandalia’s Dayton Phoenix Group, Piqua child equipment producer Evenflo and Dayton’s Lion First Responders PPE Inc. Jamie Coch, a spokesman for Lion, declined to comment on the company’s experience with the loan.

Tailwind Technologies in Piqua — owner of Hartzell Propeller — was also in that category.

“We were deemed an essential business,” said Jim Brown III, president of Tailwind Technologies. “And we have across our businesses, 525 employees. It (the PPP loan) permitted us to keep our workforce intact and serve our customers during the period where we saw a pretty significant downturn in our business.”

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Tailwind was able to keep 96 percent of its employees. The company has about 265 workers in Piqua.

“I would say right now, we are cautiously optimistic,” Brown said. “April and May were tough months. June was a little bit better. And we’re hoping that third quarter will pick up a little bit.”

For now, however, the company is keeping an eye on COVID-19 spikes.

“Our businesses, a lot of it is predicated on people having places to go and things to do,” Brown said.

Receiving the next biggest batch of loans — $2 million to $5 million — were companies like Fairborn packaging firm Ali Industries, Apex Industrial Technologies, DRT Aerospace and DRT Manufacturing, whose facility straddles the Dayton-Kettering municipal border.

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Also on this list: Crown Packaging, a packaging services company in Kettering.

John Venturella, a shareholder with Clark Schaefer & Hackett Co., believes the loans were “absolutely” helpful to businesses who had the “stamina” to fight through a sometimes tricky loan application process.

“With those loans, people were able to keep their doors open, so to speak, and keep people on payroll,” Venturella said Friday. “They were doing exactly what the loans were designed to do.”

The Paycheck Protection Program resumed accepting applications this week and businesses have until Aug 8 to apply. The loans are forgiven to the extent that businesses stay open and retain their workers — milestones businesses will have to document.

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“The money is out there,” Venturella said. “They didn’t use it all … Whether there will need for more, or whether more will be injected later, who knows.”

He added: “I have just never seen so much uncertainty as I have seen probably in these last six months.”

He declined to comment on Clark Schaefer Hackett’s own experience with the loan.

For more information on the loans, visit sba.gov.