That’s how many people were employed by companies that have filed for bankruptcy despite receiving loans from the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, according to an analysis published by the Wall Street Journal Tuesday.
Many of the businesses examined said the PPP loans weren’t enough to keep them going as COVID-19 and the lack of other stimulus hurt their finances, according to the Journal’s analysis of government and court filings. The newspaper identified 285 firms that went bankrupt, half of which filed since August.
The single hardest-hit sector was the hospitality industry, the Journal said, with restaurants and hotels employing nearly 6,600 of the 23,400 workers. The total number of small businesses that failed is likely much higher, the Journal reported, since the Small Business Administration (SBA) has only released details on the largest borrowers, so those are the subgroup the Journal examined.
The PPP, a loan relief program the federal government launched as part of the CARES Act, never used $134 billion of the $659 billion appropriated for it. While the SBA said the untapped funds show the program worked, small business advocates said it was a sign of a flawed design and chaotic rollout.