Tens of Millions in PPP Loans Flow into Humboldt


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An across-the-board collection of hundreds of Humboldt County companies and nonprofits were among the recipients of a federal loan program meant to help small businesses keep employees on the payroll amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the Small Business Administration.

The information, which we sorted by Humboldt County ZIP codes, shows tens of millions of dollars flowed into a wide spectrum of the local economy — from casinos and healthcare providers to grocery stores and construction companies — under the Paycheck Protection Program, which was created in March under the CARES Act. (Click here to see the list.)

Combined, recipients stretching from Trinidad to Garberville self-reported retaining around 9,500 jobs

According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, the "vast majority" of loans issued under the program were of $150,000 or less. Of the local recipients reported, more than half of the loans were for amounts between $150,000 to $350,000, nearly 70 in the $350,000-to-$1-million range, less than 20 were for $1 million to $2 million, a handful for $2 million to $5 million and two — going to Mercer Fraser Co. and Mad River Community Hospital — were listed as being between $5 million and $10 million.

California received $68 billion of the funds, with the largest loan amount — $5 million to $10 million — going to 647 businesses in the state, according to the Los Angeles Times. A total of $521 billion has been distributed as of July 6, according to the SBA, with the average loan size around $106,000.

Released this week under mounting political pressure and Freedom of Information Act lawsuits from media organizations, the data only identifies recipients of loans for more than $150,000 and is listed by amount ranges not exact figures.

Under the program, small businesses — generally those with fewer than 500 employees — were able to apply for the funding. If certain criteria are met, the loans can be forgiven.

The SBA databases lists Bear River Casino, George Petersen Insurance Agency, Lodestone Pacific Holding Company Inc. (formerly Eureka Ready-Mix, Customer Truck Service and Eureka Truck Lines), The Sun Valley Group and United Indian Health Services as being in the second highest category.

The $1 million to $2 million range saw a variety of entities, including Hospice of Humboldt, the North Coast Co-op, Kokatat, O&M Industries, the Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria, the Humboldt State University Center Board of Directors, DANCO Builders and the Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District.

Che-Ae Heights Casino and Blue Lake Casino were also recipients in the category, according to the data.

Familiar names in the $350,000 to $1 million range include Holly Yashi, Eureka Ace Hardware, Eureka Natural Foods, Cloney’s Pharmacy Inc., Ramone’s Bakeries Inc. as well as the Harvey M Harper Co.

Several nonprofits serving a wide-range of clients also benefited in a number of the loan categories, such as the Humboldt County Senior Resource Center, the Humboldt Area Foundation, the Area 1 Agency on Aging, Food for People and the Redwood Community Action Agency.

The category of $150,000 to $300,000 was the largest and most diverse locally of the loans disclosed, with restaurants, veterinary clinics, stores, auto repair shops and media organizations, including the North Coast Journal and Lost Coast Communications, among the recipients.

While not identified, around 14,000 other Humboldt County businesses and nonprofits received loans under the $150,000 threshold and those entities reported retaining more than 20,000 jobs.

The initial roll-out of the program faced criticism over the number of large corporations that received loans ostensibly meant to protect the small businesses that are the backbone of local communities. Amid the backlash, changes were made to the program aimed to better benefit smaller operations and the application date has been extended to Aug. 8.

The Small Business Administration's full Paycheck Protection Program data can be found here.

Editor's note: This post was updated to clarify some information.


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