Dr. Boozman's Check-up
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which I supported. It provides low-interest loans to small businesses to use for payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities –– with a portion of the loan eligible for forgiveness.
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the program approved 14 years’ worth of loans in 14 days. That amounts to 1.6 million loans totaling more than $340 billion. Now, Congress is moving to provide more funding to the PPP in the wake of the increasing demand from businesses in Arkansas and across the country.
It’s apparent how crucial this program is to help small businesses remain afloat despite the financial hardships caused by the coronavirus.
Over 99 percent of Arkansas businesses are small businesses, and perhaps no one has been impacted more by the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus. The PPP provides critical aid that will allow small businesses to stay in operation and keep employees on the payroll as we all weather this storm. There is an urgent need for these funds, and I’ve encouraged Arkansas businesses to apply for this assistance.
We know that many small businesses are benefitting from the PPP, describing the funding as a “lifeline” that will help them keep the doors of their business open and pay the employees they clearly value and respect.
However, recent reports have revealed that some larger businesses may have benefitted from the program, despite its intent to be a support for the backbone of America’s economy – local, small businesses. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, has announced his committee will conduct aggressive oversight of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including whether companies made false certifications to the federal government to receive PPP loans.
Here are the facts about small businesses in Arkansas that have benefitted from the Paycheck Protection Program:
- Arkansas has had 21,754 PPP loans approved totaling over $2.7 billion. Here are just some of the small businesses in Arkansas that have benefitted from the PPP:
- Sportstop (Little Rock): Family-owned sporting goods business
- The Toggery (Little Rock): Children’s clothing boutique stocking clothing, shoes, books, toys and accessories
- KAR Shop (Rogers): Family-owned auto repair shop
- Potter’s House Thrift Store (Fayetteville): Non-profit thrift store serving Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas
- Mockingbird Kitchen (Fayetteville): Local NWA restaurant
- Batesville Glass Company (Batesville)
- Tripp Supply (Batesville): Family-Operated Plumbing, Electrical, Hardware, Lawn & Garden, Tools, Paint and Hardware Store
- MorningSide Coffee House (Batesville): Local Coffee Shop and Bakery
- May Auto Repair (Batesville): Local Foreign & Domestic Auto Repair Shop
- Big’s of Batesville: Local Restaurant and Sandwich Shop
- Kenny Allen – State Farm Insurance Agent (Batesville): Insurance and Financial Services Agency
- Melba Theater (Batesville): Historic theater venue featuring movies, concerts and live events
- First Presbyterian Church (Batesville): Community house of worship that dates back to 1849
- J. Taylor Construction LLC (Crossett): Residential and Commercial Roofing Company
- Timeless 106.1 KFFB (Serving North Central Arkansas): Locally-owned radio station bringing news, weather and music to communities
- Stepping Stone (Alma): Comprehensive service provider to people with developmental disabilities and their families
- Prairie Grove Hardware, LLC (Prairie Grove): Husband and Wife-owned hardware store
- Mainline Health Systems (SE Arkansas): Health care non-profit providing affordable medical and dental care
- Kidsource Therapy, Inc. (Benton): Occupational, developmental, physical, and speech and language therapy provider
- The Popcorn Spot (Cabot & North Little Rock): Family-owned gourmet popcorn, treats and gifts store
- The Purple Cow (Central Arkansas): Local restaurant chain with a 30-year history of serving diner classics
- Group Living (Arkadelphia): Private, non-profit organization providing normalization skills and living assistance to adults with developmental disabilities
- Ozark Beer (Rogers): Manufacturing brewery producing handcrafted beers
- Burrito Day Cafe (Searcy): Family-owned restaurant serving fast, healthy meals with fresh, local ingredients
- Thompson Driving School (Little Rock): Third-generation driving and safety instruction business
- River City Ministries (North Little Rock): Faith-based, nonprofit dedicated to providing for basic needs and connecting people
- The overall (nationwide) average loan size is $206,000 and about 75% of all PPP loans were for $150,000 or less
- Lenders in Arkansas such as Arvest, Simmons Bank, Centennial Bank, First National Bank of Fort Smith, The Citizens Bank and others have all participated in the program