Kentucky Politics

More than 48,000 Kentucky businesses, schools and other organizations received loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program as of the end of last month, but most of the $5.2 billion awarded in the state went to a small percentage of those businesses.

The loans are intended to help employers weather the coronavirus pandemic and don’t have to be paid back if businesses retain jobs and most of the money is used for payroll.

The U.S. Small Business Administration released data on Monday showing which businesses received the loans by the end of June.

According to the SBA, nearly three-quarters of the $5.2 billion awarded in Kentucky went to 6,438 businesses who were each given at least $150,000, including 53 businesses that received loans totaling between $5 million and $10 million.

Meanwhile the other 41,932 businesses received loans less than $150,000.

According to the SBA, businesses receiving less than $150,000 loans promised to retain 239,486 jobs in Kentucky. Businesses receiving more than $150,000 promised to retain 359,886 jobs.

The Paycheck Protection Program was created by Congress in March to help small businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. The program originally included $349 billion, but Congress added another $310 billion after the fund was quickly drained.

The SBA released the names of businesses who were awarded loans larger than $150,000, but did not do so for smaller loans.

Included among the 53 businesses who received between $5 million and $10 million are Centre College in Danville, the Catholic Diocese of Covington, Home of the Innocents in Louisville, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington, National Tobacco Company in Louisville and Wendy’s of Bowling Green.

Braidy Industries, the troubled aluminum plant planned to be built near Ashland, received a loan totaling between $1 million and $2 million.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.