Wisconsin companies have secured an additional $1.68 billion in forgivable loans from the second round of money offered in the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which is intended to help businesses cover payroll expenses.
The U.S. Small Business Administration began accepting applications for the second round of money on April 27 after Congress had approved an additional $310 billion for the program. That new infusion of money came after the SBA quickly exhausted the $349 billion initially set aside for the unprecedented loan program, which was passed as part of the $2 trillion Cares Act.
From both rounds of the Paycheck Protection Program, Wisconsin companies have collected about $10 billion in loans. During the first round, about 43,000 companies received about $8.3 billion.
That far exceeds the amounts the SBA tends to loan out in normal times. In all of 2019, for instance, the agency provided $564 million in loans to Wisconsin businesses.
The Paycheck Protection Program is intended to help employers cover payroll expenses during the outbreak through the use of low-interests loan that can be forgiven under some circumstances. Following some criticism that PPP loans were going to large companies, the SBA issued guidance saying that business that have access to capital elsewhere shouldn’t be seeking support from the program.
Of all industries, construction was in fact the biggest recipient of PPP loans in the first round, collecting nearly $34 billion – or 13.7% – of the total. And although the SBA itself hasn’t released loan data specific to individual states, a recent survey from the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin suggests that construction companies in Wisconsin have been quick to take advantage of the program. The survey of 54 AGC of Wisconsin members found more than three respondents out of four said they had applied for, and been approved for, financing through the federal Paycheck Protection program.Follow @natebeck9