WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department released on Monday the names of more than 650,000 companies that received funds from the government’s small business lending program, a massive effort intended to support the economy as states shut down in April to contain the viral outbreak.
Treasury identified just a fraction of the total borrowers, naming only those companies that got more than $150,000. Those firms made up less than 15% of the nearly 5 million small companies that received loans.
Though the data is incomplete, the government was able to determine that 27% of the loan money went to low- and moderate-income areas.
“There is great news for American small businesses across the program,” said SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Steve Bulger. “Twenty seven percent of the program’s reach went to low and moderate-income areas which reflects the population in these communities. The average loan size of about $100,000, demonstrates that the program is truly serving small of businesses.”
The average loan amount for the entire program was $107,000, the Treasury Department said in a broad summary of the program, AP reports.
The government handed out $521 billion through the Paycheck Protection Program, a crucial piece of the government’s $2 trillion rescue package.
The loans can be forgiven if the businesses mostly use the money to continue paying their workers. The program initially was set to expire June 30 but was extended last week to Aug. 8., according to AP.