Construction firms received $13.7 billion in loans under the latest version of the Paycheck Protection Program, making the industry second in total loan amounts received after restaurants and hotels, which received $18 billion in funds so far, according to www.constructiondive.com. The PPP was established to help companies struggling with COVID-19 challenges by providing forgivable, Small Business Administration-backed loans to help them retain their employees.
SBA data released during the week of Feb. 8 shows loans to construction firms made up 14% of all funds paid as of Feb. 7. Construction was also one of the top industries to receive funds during the two PPP rounds in 2020.
The new SBA data looks at the types of businesses that received loans this year and the loan sizes. The average loan across all industries was $78,000, and about 70% of the loans were for less than $50,000.
About three-quarters of the companies taking money during the current round, which began in mid-January, also received PPP funds last year. So far, about $104 billion has been lent to more than 1.3 million businesses in the 2021 program, which has a total of $284 billion in funds.
The SBA said second draw PPP loans can also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations.