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Federal loan recipients say money saved jobs

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The 140,270 loans approved across Ohio under a federal coronavirus assistance program have touched every corner of the state’s economy.

Manufacturers and museums, auto dealers and lawyers, breweries and hamburger restaurants are among the thousands of businesses that have benefited from the payroll protection program, which offered loans of up to $ 10 million. to help businesses weather the pandemic.

In Ohio, 84% of loans were for $ 150,000 or less.

Ten cities in Ohio have been approved for more than 1,000 loans not exceeding $ 150,000. In Dublin, 1,311 loans were approved and in Westerville the total was 1,245 loans.

Much smaller cities have also racked up loans, including Plain City, where around 70 loans have been approved.

The $ 660 billion program is intended to help most small organizations with up to a few hundred employees weather the coronavirus pandemic. About $ 130 billion in funding remains.

Loans are canceled if all workers remain employed for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. As of June 30, Ohio companies had received $ 18.4 billion.

Here’s a look at how some recipients spent the money:

white castle

The 99-year-old restaurant chain received a loan of $ 5 million to $ 10 million.

“It’s a threat like no other. It’s not over yet,” Vice President Jamie Richardson said.

Richardson said the top priority for the money was to preserve the family chain’s 10,000 jobs.

“We didn’t want to lose a single job,” he said. “We want to fight for all those who make it the work of a lifetime. “

Most of the money, combined with the pay cuts suffered by executives, was used for bonuses for hourly workers at its restaurants – called the Griddle Gratitude Bonus – and to provide a bonus to workers at its food and beverage operations. retail, he said.

“We were seeing catastrophic sales losses,” which have since leveled off, he said.

Mills James

The media production company received a loan of $ 2-5 million.

Even with the help, the company had to lay off some workers, said Arthur James, the company’s president. The company has approximately 135 employees.

Much of the business of the company is organizing live events. It is also a production partner with the Greater Columbus Convention Center and works for hotels and conferences.

“Obviously, this has been greatly affected,” he said. “Being able to have this funding, which is mainly used for payroll, has been helpful. “

Twenty-one pilots

The Columbus-based band has been approved for a loan between $ 350,000 and $ 1 million.

The group, along with central Ohio residents Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, used the money to keep 19 jobs.

Twenty-One Pilots was one of a number of bands whose loans were approved.

Rascal Flatts, who also has roots in central Ohio, received a loan with the Eagles, Guns N ‘Roses, Sammy Hagar, Cheap Trick and other groups, according to media reports.

Cameron Restaurants

The restaurant business received a loan of between $ 5 million and $ 10 million.

The company closed its 36 restaurants in March due to the pandemic, laying off 4,500 workers.

“We would not have come back without the PPP loan. It was essential for us to reopen and help us move our business forward,” said Cameron Mitchell, founder and CEO of the company, in an interview with Fox Business News this week.

He said the company had been able to bring back most of the workers who had been made redundant.

“We face one challenge after another, and restaurants, big or small or bigger chains or moms and dads are all in the same boat and are going to need a little more help here in the future. for us to survive or we’re going to see systemic restaurant closures in the future. “

Bricklayer & Eckler

The law firm received a loan of $ 2-5 million which it said was mainly used for the payroll of the firm’s 300 employees.

“It was important for us to ensure that our Bricker family and our clients are fully able to meet the challenges of this unprecedented time,” said the firm.

Planned parenthood

Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio received a loan of $ 2-5 million.

“For many of our patients, our local health centers are their only source of reproductive and sexual health care,” the organization said. “The relief we have received helps us continue to meet their health care needs in these uncertain times. “

the wolf’s crest

The downtown brewery was relying on a loan of $ 350,000 to $ 1 million to pay its bills and keep some employees on the payroll.

“We weren’t getting a lot of support from landlords in terms of rent deferral,” said co-founder Bob Szuter.

In addition, the loan helped the brewery provide health insurance for its staff, even those who were on leave, and pay higher wages to encourage them to stay at work, although some employees could have earned more from the work. a temporary increase in unemployment benefits.

Expedition reporters Patrick Cooley and Samantha Raudins contributed to this report.

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@BizMarkWilliams

Cities with the most PPP loans under $ 150,000

1. Cincinnati, 9,020 loans, $ 337.5 million

2. Columbus, 8,668 loans, $ 315.4 million

3. Cleveland, 5,440 loans, $ 207.3 million

4. Dayton, 3,040 loans, $ 117.4 million

5. Toledo, 2,706 loans, $ 97.9 million

6. Akron, 2,288 loans, $ 86.9 million

7. Canton, 1,522 loans, $ 59.9 million

8. Youngstown, 1,401 loans, $ 52.8 million

9. Dublin, 1,311 loans, $ 47.8 million

10. Westerville, 1,245 loans, $ 43.5 million

Source: Small Business Administration

Research by Julie Fulton

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