These area businesses approved for $1.97B in loans to help maintain jobs

Thousands of area small businesses and nonprofits have been approved to receive as much as $1.97 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans to keep tens of thousands of people employed through the coronavirus pandemic, according to federal data released this week.

The loans cross all types of businesses and nonprofits from mainstay manufacturers like Evenflo to the Dayton YMCA, and from restaurant chains like Cassano’s Pizza to cultural centers including the Dayton Art Institute. Dozens of medical care providers are recipients, as are construction companies, hair salons and grocers.

A Dayton Daily News analysis shows 1,970 PPP loans of more than $150,000 were approved in the region that includes Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Warren counties. Nearly 10,000 loans up to $150,000 were approved in the area, data show. Altogether, area companies and nonprofits reported to the U.S. Small Business Administration that more than 160,000 jobs would be retained through the loans.

Shook Construction was one of the 17 area companies approved for loans between $5 million and $10 million. Those companies said they would keep roughly 7,000 people employed with the loans.

Chris Halapy, Shook Construction chief executive and president, said the reason to seek the loan was simple: To preserve jobs.

“Doing so has helped us to maintain our payroll and provide continued employment and income for our employees and their families,” Halapy said in a statement Tuesday.

Shook Construction’s application shows the PPP loan was expected to preserve 246 jobs at the Moraine-based company.

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The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department released the information Monday after news organizations pressed for the data.

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act initially included about $377 billion that went for small business supports, including the Paycheck Protection Program. Congress added another $320 billion to the program in April for companies with 500 or fewer employees.

Nationally, more than $521 billion has been loaned to nearly 4.9 million applicants as of Monday, according to the SBA.

A majority of the region’s car dealerships were approved for loans along with local churches, private schools and drug treatment centers.

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This newspaper’s analysis shows the federal loan infusion in this area between $819.5 million to $1.97 billion.

Federal data released provided recipient information but gave only ranges for loans above $150,000. The names of the nearly 10,000 applicants to receive loans of under $150,000 were not released by the SBA.

Companies like Dorothy Lane Market, Inc., Fricker’s and Morris Furniture were among 88 approved loans from $2 million to $5 million, along with Five Rivers Health Centers and the Dayton YMCA.

Stratacache, a downtown Dayton-based technology company, also received a loan between $2 million and $5 million. Chris Riegel, the company’s chief executive and founder, called the Paycheck Protection loan “very helpful.”

With operations across the Dayton area, Stratacache designs and builds digital signage, monitors and other products for sectors that were particularly hard hit by the coronavirus.

“Since we serve the food service, retail, gaming, entertainment and retail banking industries, the loan was critical to help us minimize job loss until we return to normal,” Riegel said.

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Wilberforce University was among 178 businesses and nonprofits approved for a loan of between $1 million and $2 million along with Mikesell’s Potato Chip. Co. and Square One Salon and Spa.

Archbishop Alter High School, Roosters and Young’s Jersey Dairy were in the 633 approved for loans between $350,000 to $1 million along with arts and cultural nonprofits including the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance and Dayton History, the operator of Carillon Historical Park.

Tank’s Bar and Grill, Warped Wing Brewing, Mudlick Tap House and the Golden Nugget Pancake House were among the area’s 1,057 approved for loans from $150,000 to $350,000.

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One of the region’s largest loans is helping Henny Penny, the Eaton-based global food preparation equipment designer and producer, weather the downturn, said Rob Connelly, the company’s CEO.

“For us, it (the Paycheck Protection Program loan) was a really important tool that was really about buying time,” Connelly said.

On March 13, company leaders began to grapple with the impact of the virus on business and how they were going to take care of customers and employees, Connelly said. Henny Penny stopped production on March 23. Office employees were moved to working from home.

As of today, the company has been able to navigate the pandemic without furloughs or layoffs, Connelly said.

“We really appreciate that it allowed us to keep all of our employees, and that’s where we are today,” he said, despite a dip of some 50% in the company’s overall restaurant and fast food business.

Connelly said business is gradually improving and has been since the bottom was reached in April. But with COVID-19 cases increasing in 38 states in the last two weeks, it’s unclear when business will fully rebound.

“The uncertainty isn’t, are we going to thrive again. The uncertainty is, when?,” he said.

CARES Act summary

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act — the single largest stimulus package in U.S. history — was signed by President Donald Trump at the end of March.

About $500 billion was provided for loans to large, distressed businesses. Roughly $377 billion paid for small business supports, including the Paycheck Protection Program, which Congress added another $320 billion to in April, for companies with 500 or fewer employees. The legislation also included $300 billion for one-time cash payments to individuals and families, unemployment insurance of $260 billion and $150 billion for state and local governments. Payments have also gone to support hospitals and veterans, airlines and public transit systems.

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