PPP Roundup – What We Know about BR Businesses

This week, the U.S. Treasury Department released information about all Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loans allocated across the country, broken down by state. BRAC’s analysis of the data shows that over 11,300 total PPP loans, including nearly 1,600 of $150,000 or more, were distributed to businesses in the Capital Region.   

Exactly how much local companies received overall is not known, as only a range of loan amount is provided for companies that received $150,000 or more (e.g., “$2-5 million”).  However, exact dollar amounts are provided for loans of less than $150,000 and those 9,715 loans added up to $342 million in potentially forgivable loans to local businesses, which helped retain more than 45,000 jobs. Based on the ranges given for the nearly 1,600 larger loans, those companies received hundreds of millions of dollars of relief, too. Under a conservative assumption that each of those 1,600 larger loans received the minimum dollar amount for the range it was classified in, the total PPP for the region would be $1.02 billion in federal funding, supporting wages for over 128,000 jobs in the metro area. 

The Treasury also asked the race and gender of business owners for the purpose of determining whether the program was used proportionately by owners of varying demographic backgrounds. These demographic questions were optional. For loans under $150,000, just under 10% of businesses in the Capital Region answered questions about race, and just over 15% answered around gender.  

Of those business owners who identified their race, 71% were White, 15% Black, and 11% Asian American. Based on the most recent U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey/FactFinder data available, only 13% of businesses in the region with employees are minority owned, so there is some evidence that the Capital Region’s minority owned business are accessing the PPP at representative rates. This is especially so during the last month, during which there has been an uptick in the percentage of PPP applications by Black and minority-owned businesses. Since June 9, 53% of Capital Region firms that applied for the PPP were minority owned, including 36% that were Black-owned.  However, higher level loans were less likely to be received by non-White firms. For loans of over $150,000, only 12% of loans went to minority owned firms, including 5% to Black-owned firms; overall 13% of the loans went to Black-owned firms. 

The application for the PPP was extended to August 8, the covered period for expenditures was extended to 24 weeks, and more than $130 billion in funds are still available. As part of our pledge to work toward an equitable recovery, BRAC will connect Black-owned businesses to banking or credit union partners to assist them with their application for a forgivable PPP loan. Contact us at info@brac.org.   

Andrew Fitzgerald

As Senior Vice President of Business Intelligence, Andrew focuses on research and analysis for BRAC’s business development and economic competitiveness teams, providing economic, demographic, and fiscal research to support business expansion and relocation efforts in the Baton Rouge Area and analysis of education, workforce, tax, and other economic and public policy issues.

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