County Carteret – Restaurants, hotels, doctor’s offices, churches and many more were among the hundreds of companies in Carteret County that received funding through a novel federal coronavirus aid package designed to help small businesses deal with the pandemic.
The Treasury Department last week released the names of more than 650,000 companies that have received between $ 150,000 and $ 10 million through the paycheck protection program. Managed by the US Small Business Administration, the PPP provided small businesses with more than $ 650 billion to pay for employees, rent / mortgages, utilities, and other expenses.
In particular, the program offers incentives for companies that keep existing employees and hire new ones. The SBA makes full credit to companies that use at least 60% of the funds on payroll. Otherwise, the loans bear 1% interest and must be repaid in two years.
On-site, the companies that receive PPP funding together employ thousands of the county’s residents. They range in size from fewer than 10 to nearly 200 employees in a range of industries from hospitality and service to manufacturing and craft. Religious organizations, schools, and non-profit organizations were also among the borrowers. The majority received loans ranging from $ 150,000 to $ 350,000, with seven county companies receiving up to $ 2 million.
The NC Coastal Federation received a loan of $ 350,000 to $ 1 million, according to Treasury Department records. Executive Director Todd Miller said the association employs 30 people who are supported by member donations, charitable contributions, endowment grants, paid personal programs, fundraisers, and grants and contracts for local environmental remediation projects.
“Needless to say, the sharp economic downturn and social distancing requirements have depressed donations and charitable giving, as well as limiting our ability to hold paid personal programs and fundraising events,” Miller said News times. “Most of our employees have been working from home since March, and we assume that we will not be able to return to normal operations for many months.”
Mr. Miller added that the NCCF has seen a decline in so-called “recurring income” from donors and activities, and expects the trend to continue well into next year or more depending on the economic situation.
“The financial impact of COVID is likely to stay with us and we have sought this financial help to keep our existing employees and provide them with some economic security in these very uncertain and unpredictable times,” he said. “This program has enabled us to make up for lost sales and keep our people working while we survive the aftermath of this pandemic.”
Don Kirkman, director of Carteret County’s Economic Development Department, said PPP is a “lifeline” for the county’s small businesses that might otherwise have closed or filed for bankruptcy due to the pandemic.
“Carteret County’s business community is largely made up of small businesses, many of which have been temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Many who were able to stay open suffered significant revenue losses, ”he said. “… Fortunately, most of the county’s small businesses have been able to avert permanent closings, and many are reporting strong summer business.”
Mr Kirkman said the EDD has helped numerous companies find information related to PPP. He acknowledged that there were some issues with the program initially and some business owners and lenders expressed frustration with the application process.
“That was understandable given the speed at which the program was built and the complexity of the credit guidelines,” he said. “While it was not without glitches, the PPP program was vital for many companies that were affected by disruptions.”
In addition to companies that have received between $ 150,000 and $ 10 million, the Treasury Department released a list of companies that have received loans under $ 150,000 without identification. In Carteret County, more than 480 companies have received up to $ 150,000, with the smallest loan amount being just a few thousand dollars.
Although PPP was designed for small businesses, The Associated Press reports that some larger high-profile-owned companies have also received funding. In addition, a number of companies are owned by members of Congress or their families, but AP found no evidence of preferential treatment.
As of June 30, the Treasury Department has distributed approximately $ 521 billion in PPP loans, which means approximately $ 138 billion has not yet been drawn. President Donald Trump last week agreed to extend the program by five weeks, with the new deadline set for Saturday, August 8th. The SBA reopened the applications on July 6th.
Reporter’s Note: The Carteret County News-Times received a PPP loan of $ 150,000 to $ 350,000.
Contact Elise Clouser at [email protected]; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.