The U.S. Small Business Administration has injected the local economy with somewhere between $248 million and $600 million by way of the federal Paycheck Protection Program.
That’s through the 657 loans of at least $150,000 apiece dispersed by July 6 to Springfield businesses.
The SBA released its data in early July in an effort to increase transparency of the program, which had approved nearly 5 million loans nationwide by July 22 for companies seeking financial relief during the coronavirus pandemic. Exact amounts of the loans were not disclosed.
Roughly $131 billion is still up for grabs, and businesses have until Aug. 8 to apply for the funding, according to the SBA website.
The funding, which is intended to cover payroll costs, rent and utility payments, has been a lifeline for many businesses communitywide amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to results from the April Economic Growth Survey by Springfield Business Journal, half of area businesses that participated applied for the PPP loan.
SBA data show hundreds of millions of dollars given to Springfield businesses was used to save more than 32,000 jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic as of July 6.
Locally, the industry awarded the most loans was one of the hardest hit: restaurants. Nearly 60 restaurant operators received PPP money by July 6, equaling between $28.2 million and $65.3 million.
Recipients include Mexican Villa Food Products Inc., Village Inn Pancake House of Springfield LLC and Aviary Cafe and Creperie LLC, according to the SBA.
Officials with the southwest chapter of the Missouri Restaurant Association could not be reached for comment by press time on the industry’s use of PPP funding.
A nationwide survey by the National Restaurant Association found 4 in 10 restaurants closed amid COVID-19, while 2 out of 3 restaurant employees lost their jobs.
Other industries that heavily utilized the program included law firms; dental offices; plumbing, heating and air companies; and religious organizations, according to SBJ research.
Employers of 500 people or less can receive up to 2.5 times their average monthly payroll costs through the program, according to past reporting. The loans can’t exceed $10 million.
Among the local businesses that received PPP funding, seven companies were awarded funds in the $5 million-$10 million range. Those businesses are Chicago Bread LLC; Indiana Western Express Inc.; Integrity Home Care LLC; Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Co.; Redneck Inc.; Springfield Grocer Co.; and Wendy’s of New England LLC.
None of the seven company’s officials agreed to an interview with Springfield Business Journal by press time. However, representatives from four of the companies acknowledged the PPP funding in emailed statements to SBJ.
Greg Horton, co-owner and CEO of Integrity Home Care, said in an emailed statement the company received the money to “protect the livelihood and income” of its workforce throughout Missouri and Kansas.
“Our primary objective was and is to keep our highly skilled home care employees’ jobs intact, and their payroll consistent and reliable,” he said.
The company retained 250 jobs, according to the data. Horton declined to comment further on the financial details of the loan.
The PPP funding will be fully forgiven if at least 60% of funds are used for payroll costs and the remainder goes toward rent, interest on mortgages and utilities, according to the SBA website. For loans that are not fully forgiven, the money has to be repaid in two years if the loan was awarded prior to June 5, and those awarded after June 5 will have five years, according to the SBA website.
Springfield-based Hamra Enterprises received the funding for several of its companies, including Wendy’s of New England, Chicago Bread and Hamra Noodles.
The enterprise group operates franchises of three restaurant brands – Wendy’s, Panera Bread and Noodles & Co. – and Holiday Inn Express with locations in nine states and over 7,000 employees, according to its website.
“These funds were a lifeline, enabling us to operate our restaurants, pay our employees and focus on getting the Hamra team back to work as soon as possible,” said CEO and President Mike Hamra in a statement. “While the devastating impact of COVID-19 has caused many restaurants and businesses to close, Hamra has been able to keep the majority of our franchises open.”
According to SBA data, seven loans were dispersed to companies at 1855 S. Ingram Mill Road, the headquarters of Hamra Enterprises, totaling at least $16.3 million and up to $35 million. Six of the applicants were tied to Hamra Enterprises founder Sam Hamra in filings with the Missouri secretary of state.
At Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Co., Vice President Sally Hargis said in a statement the company was able to use the $5 million-$10 million PPP loan to keep all employees on board and hire additional staff members. She did not return requests for further comment.
In past reporting, Hargis said the company has 560 employees in Missouri and 140 in northwest Arkansas. SBA data for loans in Arkansas over $150,000 was not available.
According to the Journal of Accountancy, loans awarded prior to June 5 can be extended to five years if the lender agrees.
Forgiveness applications became available on the SBA’s website in June and have an expiration date of Oct. 31, according to the documents. Borrowers are instructed to submit the applications to their lenders, though there was no instruction published online by press time of how lenders should pass the information to the SBA.
Springfield company's order is set to equip over 1,000 vehicles by 2028.
Toni Robinson, president of Springfield NAACP, says leaders must listen to young professionals if Springfield wants to change its culture and retain them in the workforce. Robinson is one of …
Andy Drennen, founder of Blend For That says they’ve been very selective about building partnerships. He says it’s important to find partners who share your vision and sense of community. Drennen …
Kirk Baumann, team member experience manager with O’Reilly Hospitality Management, says mentors have been instrumental in his life. He says O’Reilly’s mentoring program helps employees develop …
Nicole Chilton, former director of marketing and development at the Springfield Regional Arts Council, has been writing a book about dreams and symbolism. Chilton is a 2020 Springfield Business Journal 40 …
K. Patrick Douglas, attorney and partner with Douglas, Haun & Heidemann PC, says a healthy work life balance is difficult, but critical. He says you have to decide what you aren’t willing to give …
Cynthia Black, attorney with Cynthia R. Black, Attorney at Law, LLC, says everyone has their own specific talent. She talks about how one client’s bravery helped bring down a sex trafficking ring. …
Tim Potthoff, project manager with Nabholz, says technology has made an amazing difference in their industry. He says using augmented reality in the design phase has huge cost benefits to project …
Life coach Ann Leach says using a tool from the organization development movement can help with employee engagement and learning. She says we think in pictures, so a graphic representation helps …
Jason, John and Jeremy Chapman, owners of The Acoustic Shoppe, say they have always sought ways to continue growth, first as a band, now as a business. Updating music lessons to include online access …
Steve Kelly, senior vice president with Arvest Bank, started a real estate brokerage during the 2007 recession. His business closed and Kelly returned to banking. He says the experience helps him …