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

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

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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.

10. Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut
Sean Pavone /

Estimated amount loaned: $5,063,612,554
Jobs saved: 602,575
Number of loans: 60,948
Amount loaned per person: $1,420

Connecticut small businesses have received at least $5 billion spread out across nearly 61,000 companies. Those generous funds saved at least 602,575 jobs.

9. Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming
f11photo /

Estimated amount loaned: $828,096,606
Jobs saved: 111,945
Number of loans: 13,229
Amount loaned per person: $1,431

Businesses in the Cowboy State received over $828 million. While that amount accounts for a tiny fraction of the total funds loaned under PPP, it’s a lot per state resident: $1,431.

8. New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Sean Pavone /

Estimated amount loaned: $1,959,159,671
Jobs saved: 209,999
Number of loans: 23,829
Amount loaned per person: $1,441

Businesses in the Granite State received nearly $2 billion in loans, spread out among 23,829 businesses.

7. South Dakota

Rapid City, South Dakota
Sopotnicki /

Estimated amount loaned: $1,288,486,588
Jobs saved: 181,633
Number of loans: 22,507
Amount loaned per person: $1,456

South Dakota small businesses received at least $1.2 billion in loans, a relatively small sum compared with most other states on this list. But it goes pretty far in sparsely populated South Dakota, amounting to $1,456 per resident.

6. New Jersey

New Jersey from Delaware
Felix Mizioznikov /

Estimated amount loaned: $13,001,347,334
Jobs saved: 1,456,455
Number of loans: 147,548
Amount loaned per person: $1,464

Businesses in New Jersey received a whopping $13 billion in loans, at least, saving well over 1 million jobs. Averaged out over the population, though, the amount is close to the rest of the list so far.

5. New York

New York and the Statue of Liberty

Estimated amount loaned: $28,682,495,350
Jobs saved: 3,162,720
Number of loans: 323,900
Amount loaned per person: $1,474

Right above neighbor New Jersey comes New York. Small businesses in the state received more in total than in any other state on the list, a feat that anchored over 3 million jobs.

4. Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Pinkcandy /

Estimated amount loaned: $8,373,169,779
Jobs saved: 1,090,506
Number of loans: 98,136
Amount loaned per person: $1,485

The Land of 10,000 Lakes has averaged about $1,485 per resident in PPP loans, which is about 9.8 loans per lake in the nickname. That’s helped saved over a million jobs.

3. Vermont

Vermont couple walking in park in Autumn
Sergii Kovalov /

Estimated amount loaned: $927,958,248
Jobs saved: 113,838
Number of loans: 11,929
Amount loaned per person: $1,487

Vermont is a tiny state, but one whose businesses have received a relatively high amount in PPP loans. The nearly $928 billion saved a reported 113,838 jobs.

2. Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts
f11photo /

Estimated amount loaned: $10,736,321,118
Jobs saved: 1,143,511
Number of loans: 112,996
Amount loaned per person: $1,558

Massachusetts businesses received an impressive $10.7 billion in loans under the PPP, allowing them to protect the jobs of 1.1 million people.

1. North Dakota

North Dakota oil rig at sunset
BlueBarronPhoto /

Estimated amount loaned: $1,358,372,594
Jobs saved: 176,208
Number of loans: 19,724
Amount loaned per person: $1,782

The Peace Garden State saw the largest total amount loaned for its size, a significant jump from No. 2 Massachusetts’ $1,558 to $1,782 per resident.

Those loans secured 176,208 jobs during these troubling economic times.

The states that received the least

Poor businessman

While the previously mentioned states saw the most generous distribution of funds, and the saved jobs that came with them, not everywhere has fared as well. The least fortunate state’s businesses averaged only $772 per resident, about half the pre-resident amount that No. 10 Connecticut got. Here are the bottom 10, according to those averages.

41. Tennessee: $1,001 loaned per resident
42. Alabama: $972
43. North Carolina: $906
44. Arizona: $897
45. Kentucky: $886
46. South Carolina: $866
47. Arkansas: $862
48. Mississippi: $844
49. New Mexico: $827
50. West Virginia: $772