WASHINGTON — Newly released federal data indicates that hundreds of Maryland businesses, law firms, nonprofits, schools and religious organizations each received at least $2 million to stabilize their finances and avoid layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nationally, the government on Monday identified roughly 650,000 mostly small businesses and nonprofits that received taxpayer money from a program designed to prevent the job market meltdown from growing worse.
In Maryland, approximately 13,000 recipients were identified. The searchable database is on the Treasury Department’s website.
All told, 86 Maryland businesses and nonprofits received between $5 million and $10 million, according to the database, while 537 received between $2 million and $5 million and more than 5,100 were loaned between $350,000 and $1 million.
Recipients in Maryland and across the country covered a broad swath of industries, with some that were less directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, such as manufacturing and construction, receiving a greater proportion of the loans than the hard-hit restaurant, bar and hotel industries. Many law firms and private equity companies also obtained loans, as did hospitals, physician practices, private schools and religious organizations.
Previously, the U.S. Small Business Administration said that 81,315 loans were awarded in Maryland, totaling $10.05 billion.
In Baltimore, Miles & Stockbridge, the state’s largest law firm, was among those that received between $5 million and $10 million, as did Hord Coplan Macht, Mission Barbecue Management, the McDonough School, St. Mary’s College, SC&H Group, Offit Kurman, Independent Can Company and New Day Financial.
Among the recipients of loans between $2 million and $5 million were a number of private schools, including Archbishop Spalding High School, Bullis School and Bishop McNamara High School as well as two DARCARS dealerships, David S. Brown Enterprises, Humanim, Ayers Saint Gross, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Archdiocese of Washington.
The Hogan Companies, a development group founded by Gov. Larry Hogan, received between $150,000 and $350,000. The company is no longer overseen by the governor, who turned over management of the real estate business to his brother, Timothy.
The public may never know the identity of more than 80% of the nearly 5 million beneficiaries to date because the administration has refused to release details on loans under $150,000. That secrecy spurred a lawsuit by news organizations including The Associated Press.
Treasury has released only dollar ranges for the loan amounts, rather than exact figures.
The program launched April 3 and as of June 30 had handed out $521 billion. Treasury identified just a fraction of the total borrowers Monday, naming only those companies that got more than $150,000. Those firms made up less than 15% of the nearly 5 million small companies and organizations that received loans.
Economists generally credit the program with helping prevent the job market meltdown from being much worse. Employers added 7.5 million jobs in May and June, a solid increase though it left the economy with nearly 15 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic. The PPP probably drove some of that gain.
But the program was only intended to carry the economy through a short interruption from the coronavirus pandemic, which is now threatening to have a longer-lasting impact. Treasury initially required the loans to be spent within 8 weeks of being received, though that was later lengthened to 24 weeks.
Many small businesses have already run through their PPP money and still face sharply smaller demand, as consumers remain wary of returning to their older habits of shopping, visiting gyms, or eating out. Texas, Florida, California, New York and others have reversed their reopenings, closing down bars and delaying the onset of indoor dining.
“The biggest issue is that PPP is short-term help,” said Adam Ozimek, chief economist at Upwork, a freelancing platform. “And now we’re dealing with a mid to long-term problem.”
A survey by the National Federation of Independent Business found that as of mid-June 14% of small businesses that borrowed from the PPP expected they would have to lay off some workers when their loan ran out.
The program provided loans of up to $10 million for small businesses to help them recover from the government-ordered shutdowns and revenue losses caused by the virus outbreak. The average loan amount for the entire program was $107,000, the Treasury Department said in a broad summary of the program.
The loans can be forgiven if the businesses mostly use the money to continue paying their workers. The program initially was set to expire June 30 but was extended last week to Aug. 8, with $132 billion still available.
A senior administration official said Monday that some small companies “will need additional support” in the coming months.
Christopher Rugaber and Joyce M. Rosenberg of The Associated Press contributed to this story.