A list of small businesses that received Payroll Protection Program loans was made public Monday, but for some businesses, including in Williamsburg, the information is incorrect and causing confusion.
The program, commonly known as PPP, was designed as a loan to provide small businesses with funds to maintain workers on their payroll, according to the Small Business Association. The loans will be forgiven if all the employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.
The Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department disclosed the data for 660,000 loans, including some Williamsburg businesses and organizations. A full list is available through SBA’s website. This data includes small businesses and nonprofits that received at least $150,000 in funding.
There are $521 billion issued in loans, with the average size being $107,000, according to the Washington Post.
However, the Small Business Administration’s database might have some flaws. The Post reported that some businesses had reached out to report their loan ranges are listed incorrectly.
In Williamsburg, the following businesses and organizations received PPP loans:
- MHI Hospitality LLC, $5 million to $10 million in PPP loans approved in March
- Henderson, Inc., $2 million to $5 million in PPP loans approved in March
- St. Bede Catholic Church, $2 million to $5 million in PPP loans approved in March
- Velocity Urgent Care, $2 million to $5 million in PPP loans approved in March
- Williamsburg Landing, Inc., $2 million to $5 million in PPP loans approved in March
- Child Development Resources, $1 million to $2 million in PPP loans approved in March
- David A. Nice Builders, Inc., $1 million to $2 million in PPP loans approved in March
- Leebcor Services LLC, $1 million to $2 million in PPP loans approved in March
- MHF Dining Inc., $1 million to $2 million in PPP loans approved in March
- Virginia Methodist Home of Williamsburg, $1 million to $2 million in PPP loans approved in March
But it’s unclear if all of the public loan information is actually correct.
Sam Samorian, director of development for Saint Bede Catholic Church, said when church staff saw themselves under the category of receiving $2 million to $5 million in loans, they were floored.
“We’re not sure how that figure got published because that’s nowhere near what we applied for,” he said. “If we were to take $2 million for our 27 staff members, they’d be making $400,000 a year. It’s almost laughable.”
Samorian said while the church applied for and received a loan as part of the PPP, it was in the category of $150,000 to $350,000. He’s uncertain why the information is so far off, but thought maybe one possibility was because the church submitted a practice loan application which could’ve accidentally lumped them into another category.
But Jim Carroll III, executive director for the Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center, said he has also been looking at the list and seen errors, such as spelling to actual loan descriptions.
“The issues probably occurred during the data entry,” he said. “It could possibly be that the sheer volume caused some mistakes…It’s a staggering amount of loans in a short period of time.”
Those mistakes can pose an issue for data dissemination. Carroll said datasets such as this one are important not only for transparency, but so local communities know how much the SBA has supported them.
“There was a lot of activity taking place and this gives the municipal leadership and economic development departments information about their community,” he said.
Carroll said businesses, banks and localities will have to now take the time to verify any information listed.
Leebcor Services LLC and Virginia Methodist Home of Williamsburg, also known as WindsorMeade, did not immediately respond for comment.
WYDaily reached out to Lisa Bates, spokeswoman for Williamsburg Landing about the PPE loan. She was not immediately available for comment.
WYDaily also reached out Jenny O’Donnell, spokeswoman for Child Development Resources. She could not elaborate and the executive director was not available for comment.
WYDaily also reached out to David A. Nice Builders, Inc. who was also not immediately available for comment.
Representatives for Henderson Inc., Velocity Urgent Care and Sotherly Hotels were also not immediately available for comment.
It’s unclear how much money the three agencies received, what the loan money was used for and if the organizations planned on applying for another loan.
Chris Hatch, regional communications director for the U.S. Small Business Administration Mid-Atlantic Region, said while he can’t speak on St. Bede’s specific situation, the numbers for the SBA website show how much money the businesses are eligible for, not the amount of money they actually received.
“It could be that they were approved as much as a $1 million but they only wanted or needed the $100,000 or whatever it was,” Hatch said.
“This is what they were approved for,” he added. “In a lot of cases they didn’t take the loan at all.”
So why not list the specific amount?
Hatch said he didn’t have an answer but noted this is all the information they have at this time.
“Now that the loans have been dispersed…the borrower has to come back and fill out a form stating that they used the money properly and provided evidence to that effect,” Hatch said. “And at that point, we will probably have more information.”
He said businesses would have to submit a form within 10 days.
WYDaily asked why some businesses had “0” listed for the number of jobs the employers supported.
“A lot of times they didn’t fill out the form properly and if they can’t prove they spent the money on their employees, there’s a couple things that can happen,” he said.
If the employer was not eligible to receive the loan in the first place, the SBA could “go after them” in court.
If the employer showed they needed a loan but didn’t pay themselves or employees or even laid off their employees anyway, it would could just 1 percent.
“I believe 60 percent of that money has to go to their employees to pay their salary,” he said. “We’re really giving it to the employees and making sure employees are not being laid off.”
WYDaily multimedia reporter Gabrielle Rente contributed to this report.
EDITOR’S NOTE: After this story was published, Chris Hatch confirmed 60 percent of the PPP loan must go to the employees.
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