A total of 915 Paycheck Protection Program loans were issued in St. Mary’s during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to newly released data from the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department, which says about 12,723 jobs in the county are bound to the loans.
PPP loans are administered by the federal government and dispersed through banks, but are forgiven by the SBA if businesses and nonprofits that receive them use the funds under certain conditions, such as for preventing layoffs and using a portion of the money for payroll purposes.
The loans are intended to aid small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and were a part of the federal CARES Act signed by the president earlier this year.
At least $92.2 million in loans were received by entities in St. Mary’s, but that number could be much higher due to the vague ranges provided by the SBA and Treasury Department for large loans. Over $10 billion was dispersed throughout the state.
Nearly 800 of the loans within St. Mary’s were under $150,000, meaning that the SBA and Treasury Department did not disclose specific information on the entities that received them. Those loans totaled nearly $32.5 million and were bound to 5,101 jobs.
The companies that received larger loans are specified in the data, although the exact amount of their loans are unspecified, instead providing a dollar range.
At the top, 18 entities received loans of over $1 million, 10 of which were contractors for the Department of Defense. Precise Systems Inc. and Resource Management Concepts both received loans over $5 million, but under $10 million, the highest loan range.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland is the only public education institution disclosed in the local data, and also obtained the largest loan of any school in the county, receiving over $5 million in loans tied to 450 jobs.
But several private institutions also received high amounts. Lexington Park Christian School, known as The King’s Christian Academy in Callaway, and St. John Francis Regis Church in Hollywood both received between $350,000 and $1 million, and Mother Catherine Academy received between $150,000 and $350,000, as did Little Flower Elementary School in Great Mills and Father Andrew White School in Leonardtown.
St. Mary’s Ryken received over $1 million in loans, but reported the loan would not assist in retaining any employees, as is the case with 68 other entities in St. Mary’s who marked zero employees would be retained as part of the loan, including several naval contractors, car dealerships and construction services.
SMR’s communications director, Betsy Haley, said Thursday that nobody on the school’s staff had been laid off or furloughed.
“The loan was used to continue to pay all of our faculty at their full salaries,” she wrote in an email.
Many restaurants also received loans, the highest in St. Mary’s being GCGC. Fair Corp., which operates several McDonald’s franchise locations throughout the area. That corporation also reported it would use its loan, which was between $2 million and $5 million, to retain 500 employees, the highest of any entity in St. Mary’s.
Tequila Grill, WJ Dent and Sons, and Chaptico Market each received loans between $150,000 and $350,000.
After initially running out, PPP loans have been extended, with a new deadline to apply by Aug. 8.