Nearly 21,500 Queens-based businesses received a loan of less than $150,000 through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, newly released data from the federal government shows.
The PPP loans totaled $602,995,888 and enabled those Queens businesses to retain 72,765 employees, according to the data. The loan program, designed to help small businesses continue paying employees during the COVID-19 economic slowdown, passed as part of the federal CARES Act in April.
The data is included in two massive spreadsheets released Monday by the federal Small Business Administration in response to Freedom of Information Act requests and pressure from elected officials.
One spreadsheet lists companies that received more than $150,000. Despite the intention that the PPP loans go to small businesses, some of the country’s largest corporations received funding, including McDonalds and Wendy’s franchises. The SBA named all businesses that received more than $150,000.
A second spreadsheet included companies that received less than $150,000, but the federal government did not name them. Instead, the spreadsheets include the loan amount, business zip code and the town — or in the case of most Queens businesses, the neighborhood. The spreadsheet also includes each firm’s North American Industry Classification System number, a code used to classify a company’s type of business.
The data dump shows that 21,480 companies with Queens zip codes received PPP payments of less than $150,000. They range from a South Ozone Park information services firm that received $2 to a Whitestone construction firm that took in $149,990, according to the data.
The average loan amount was about $28,072 and the median loan was $16,710, according to an analysis of the data, but some of the data may be flawed, said Tom Grech, president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce.
Extremely low loan amounts, like the $2 listed for the South Ozone Park company, may have been typos by the SBA, Grech said.