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(Updated) County employers got more than $43 million in PPP loans

ADDISON COUNTY — More than 750 Addison County employers have received Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans totaling between $43 million and $74 million for the retention of more than 5,700 jobs, according to data released by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Among those business that got PPP money was Addison Press Inc., which publishes the Independent and other newspapers and magazines.
The federal government established the $669 billion PPP business loan program as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to help businesses, nonprofits and the self-employed continue paying their workers during shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Loans, which are usually equal to 2.5 times the applicant’s monthly payroll costs, may be used to pay employees and cover certain other costs, including rent, interest and utilities. If a business retains its employees and keeps wages stable, it may be eligible for partial or full loan forgiveness. The deadline to apply for PPP loans was recently extended to Aug. 8.
More than 10,000 Vermont businesses have so far received more than $1 billion in such loans, according to SBA data.
The vast majority of loans were for less than $50,000.
The SBA data show that 672 Addison County businesses received more than $23 million and put down on their applications that they were retaining 2,923 jobs. The other 82 local businesses that got PPP money got larger payouts and accounted for the other 2,853 saved jobs.
Fred Kenney, executive director of the Addison County Economic Development Corporation, said that overall Vermont businesses were approved for a disproportionate share (per capita) of PPP loans.
“Statewide, we did very well,” he said.
Kenney call PPP “an essential piece of the resource mix that is helping ensure the survival of many Addison County businesses and getting folks back to work.”
The program was much improved over time, he added.
“We thank our Congressional delegation for their work on that,” Kenney said.
The next thing to keep an eye on is the level of actual loan forgiveness and how many businesses are stuck with debt they cannot afford due to the complicated program structure and changing rules, Kenney said.
The Independent will further unpack the county’s PPP data, along with some of the concerns that have been raised by that data, in Thursday’s newspaper.
(This story has been updated to include data that was recovered after misspelled town names were corrected.)

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