Wisconsin businesses have secured $7.2 billion in loans under a federal program to cover payroll during the COVID-19 outbreak — the 10th-highest sum in the U.S.
The $349 billion federal Paycheck Protection Program, passed by Congress as part of the recent $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, allows businesses to apply for forgivable loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration to make payroll amid the economic shutdown imposed to curb the spread of the virus.
By Monday, 31,000 Wisconsin companies has received $7.2 billion worth of loans approved through the program, just seven business days after Wisconsin banks began taking applications. That was far above the total loan amount for all of 2019, when the SBA loaned out $564 million in Wisconsin.
Nationally, the construction industry got the highest share of PPP loans. Nearly $34 billion — or 13.7% of the total sum loaned since the program opened — went to the construction industry. Manufacturing and professional, scientific and technical-services companies — industries with the next-highest share of loans — each got about 12.2% of the loans approved through the program, or about $30.3 billion.
“This is truly an impressive effort from Wisconsin’s banks,” said Rose Oswald Poels, president and CEO, Wisconsin Bankers Association. “We have heard from bankers who have manually processed these loans through the night and on weekends to ensure their customers get the help they need.”