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SBA to release data on who got federal PPP loans

If you wondered if your competitors were being kept alive in part with money from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, the Small Business Administration (SBA) may soon help answer that question.

The SBA announced late Friday night that it will disclose the identities of all borrowers who received $150,000 or more from PPP. The agency did not say when the information would be available.

For loans less than $150,000, aggregated information will be disclosed on ZIP codes, industry segments and other data. The SBA did not disclose its reasons for why the more specific information wouldn’t be released for borrowers under that level. 

It had come under criticism for not releasing the data. In the press release announcing the disclosure of the data, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the SBA is “striking the appropriate balance of providing public transparency, while protecting the payroll and personal income information of small businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors,”

The SBA said the specific information to be released will cover 75% of the dollars disbursed. But the average size of the loan as of last week was $112,000. So while the release of the information will make public where most of the dollars were disbursed, it will not reveal the identities of most of the companies that received loans.

As of last week, nearly 4 million companies would have fallen under the $150,000 threshold for having their names disclosed, according to SBA data. Only about 649,800 loans exceeded the $150,000 threshold that would trigger disclosure of the borrowers’ identities.

As of last week’s update, the category of Transportation & Warehousing had received approximately $15.2 billion in PPP loans, about 3.2% of the total. That is a few hundredths of a percentage point higher than it was in earlier reports, but the share of loans received by the sector has been fairly steady near that number since the first results were disclosed.

The information will be released in categories of $150,000-$350,000; $350,000-$1 million; $1 million-$2 million; $2 million-$5 million; and $5 million- $10 million.

If loan proceeds are used in compliance with various SBA requirements, such as the mandate to use 60% of the dollars keeping employees paid, they do not need to be repaid. 

For a separate story published earlier Friday on the PPP program, please go here. 

For more articles from John Kingston, please go here.

John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.