Following a second infusion of federal funding, the number of loans to small businesses in West Virginia has doubled, as employers nationally continue to deal with the economic impact of a global pandemic.
The Small Business Administration reported on Sunday it had awarded roughly $176 billion nationally between April 27 and May 1, after receiving a second round of cash from Congress for the Paycheck Protection Program in April.
In the Mountain State, 7,042 small businesses have received loans equalling $460 million.
The PPP was created by Congress in mid-March through the CARES Act. The first-come, first-serve loan gives employers with less than 500 workers up to eight weeks of payroll expenses, and the loan can be fully forgiven.
The first round of funding for PPP started April 2 with $349 billion from Congress. The SBA has confirmed that money ran out in less than two weeks. In the first round, the agency said West Virginia businesses received more than $1.3 billion through 7,861 loans.
On April 23, the president signed a bill allocating another $321 billion for PPP loans. On Sunday, the SBA said more than $100 billion is still available, and encouraged small companies and nonprofits to apply immediately.
The Many criticized the SBA received criticism after some small business loans went to larger, national businesses, and many small West Virginia businesses didn’t receive any assistance from the federal government in the first round of PPP loans.
The SBA reported on Sunday that in this second round of funding, 32 percent of the money went to small lenders with less than $10 billion in assets. More than half went to 139 large lenders with more than $50 billion in assets.
Emily Allen is a Report for America corps member.