Amid 2 month extension, R.I. sees slowdown in new PPP approvals

AN UPDATE FROM THE U.S. Small Business Administration on its Paycheck Protection Program shows that, as of April 4, 12,200 Rhode Island businesses and eligible entities have received $888.3 million in loans since the program received renewed funding.

PROVIDENCE – The pace of new applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program since a two-month extension to the second round of the program has slowed but not stopped, according to the latest SBA update as of April 4.

In Rhode Island, more than 750 small businesses, nonprofits and other eligible entities were approved for $30.5 million in forgivable payroll loans in the last week – a smaller increase in new recipients and total funding than the prior seven-day period. In total, more than 12,200 state recipients have received $888.3 million since the program reopened in January.

Nationally, the 2021 program has doled out $223.6 billion across just under 4 million loans as of April 4, with an average loan size of $56,000.

Nationally, accommodation and food service industry businesses remain the top recipient of overall funding, with just under $34 billion in loans, equal to 17% of total funds. Industry and demographic information by state was not available.

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A majority of recipients still do not identify their race or ethnicity, making it difficult to tell whether a two-week restriction on eligibility intended to focus funding on smaller and minority-owned businesses made a difference. As of April 4, $171.1 billion in funding – more than three-quarters of total funds- went to recipients who did not identify their race. Among those who did, white loan recipients received $36.6 billion, while Black and Asian recipients were approved for $7.7 billion and $5.9 billion in funding, respectively.

Hispanic and Latino recipients, which are categorized as an ethnicity separate from race, received $6.8 billion in loans, compared to the $67.1 billion that went to non-Hispanic or Latino recipients. Again, a majority of funds – $149.7 billion – went to those who did not identify their ethnicity.

Of the original $284 billion allocation, just under $61 billion remains before the May 31 deadline, not including the $7 billion added under the American Rescue Act Plan of 2021. 

Nancy Lavin is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at

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