SBA: $640M in second round PPP loans approved for 7K R.I. recipients

PROVIDENCE – Demand for the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program has slowed both nationally and in Rhode Island, according to the latest update from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Data published on Tuesday, reflecting applications for forgivable payroll loans approved through Feb. 21, shows that Rhode Island businesses and other eligible entities like nonprofits have received $641.1 million across 7,310 loans. This marks a $54.8 million increase, with roughly 700 additional recipients, over the previous Feb. 15 update.

By comparison, the first week of the program after it opened to all lenders included $370 million across more than 4,000 loans to Rhode Island recipients. Subsequent updates saw week-over-week increases of over $80 million and 1,000 new loan recipients.

Nationally, the program has doled out $140.3 billion across 1.9 billion loans, also showing a week-over-week slowdown in uptake. 

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However, amid concern that many smaller and minority-owned businesses are still unable to access the program, the Biden administration announced it will temporarily limit the program to applicants with 20 or fewer employees for a two-week period starting Wednesday. 

The report did not provide a state-by-state breakdown of loans by industry or demographics. It also does not show how many approved loans went to applicants with 20 or fewer employees, but it does include that information for applicants with 10 or fewer employees. 

Nationally, of the more than $140 billion approved thus far, roughly $41.8 billion, under 30%, has gone to borrowers with 10 or fewer employees, according to the data.

Lack of inclusion of minority-owned businesses is also of concern. A majority of recipients did not identify their race, gender or veteran status. Of those who did disclose this information in their applications, more than 263,000 were white, receiving a total of $19.2 billion. By comparison, there were more than 87,000 who identified as Black, receiving $2.4 billion. The 69,000 identified Hispanic recipients received $4.1 billion.

Just under $144 billion of the $284 billion allocation approved in the December stimulus bill remains available, with a March 31 application deadline.

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

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