The States That Received the Most (and Least) in PPP Funds

A small business cafe operating during the COVID-19 pandemic
Bignai / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on Zippia.com.

A major component of the $2 trillion CARES Act, a financial aid package built to soften the economic blows of the pandemic, was the Paycheck Protection Program.

The mission of the PPP is to help small businesses keep the lights on and workers employed with forgivable loans. However, the federal government’s release of data on the companies getting loans — some as high as $10 million — raised some eyebrows. After all, Kanye West’s Yeezy brand is hardly a mom-and-pop store.

It begged the question: Were the PPP loans fairly distributed, and who received them? Are some states receiving more than their share?

We examined data from early July to determine which states have received the most in PPP funds, and which got the least.

The bulk of our data came from the U.S. Treasury’s release on PPP loan level data, which it released in two categories. Loans of less than $150,000 specified an exact dollar amount that we added to the state’s total loan amount. For loans higher than $150,000, rather than provide a specific dollar value, the Treasury provided brackets:

  • $5 million – $10 million
  • $2 million – $5 million
  • $1 million – $2 million
  • $350,000 – $1 million
  • $150,000 – $350,000

For each bracket, we assumed the lowest amount, since we can safely say they received at least that much. We then combined the “under $150,000” and “above $150,000” loan totals for each state, providing an overall loan estimate.

We then divided the total by the state’s population to determine which states received the most dollars per person. From a regional perspective, Northeast and Midwest businesses won the most in funds for residents — making up most of the top 10.

We also took from this data the number of jobs reportedly saved and the total number of loans issued per state. Not all businesses have reported the number of jobs saved by their loans, but have 26 weeks to do so, so the numbers may change.

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