Daviess County COVID-19

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Small Hoosier businesses cashing in on forgivable federal loans

INDIANAPOLIS — More than 67,700 Hoosier businesses have received a combined $9.5 billion in forgivable loans from the Small Business Administration during the coronavirus crisis.

The total comes after two separate rounds of funding for the federal Paycheck Protection Program, created in late March with the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Indiana has more than 106,000 small businesses. Combined, they employ 1.2 million Hoosiers.

In the first round, almost 36,000 Indiana businesses received nearly $7.5 billion in loans, which will be completely forgiven following a fall audit, if businesses owners use the funds to cover payroll or expenses such as rent and mortgages.

Over 31,000 Hoosiers businesses have received $2 billion in the second round of funding so far, according to the latest numbers from the Small Business Administration.

Several large, publicly traded companies received loans for the maximum $10 million amount in the first round of funding. Following public pressure, companies such as Shake Shack and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse returned their loans.

Congress has pressured the SBA to scrutinize loans more closely in the second round, and the SBA announced it would closely review all applications over the amount of $2 million. The second round also prioritizes lending partners with fewer assets in an effort to reach more minority-owned businesses.

Loans averaged $206,000 in the first round of funding but have dropped to an average of $79,000 in the second round. Since the program launched April 3, more than half a trillion dollars have been awarded in 3.8 million loans.

The SBA also distributes Economic Injury Disaster Loans to businesses losing revenue during the pandemic. Because of limited funding, the SBA announced these economic disaster loans would be awarded only to agricultural businesses, which don't qualify for PPP loans.

The SBA has not released information on the amount of economic disaster loans distributed since the coronavirus pandemic.

A Product of the Washington Times Herald