Business Journal: Federal COVID-19 Relief Program Boosts Some Sacramento Companies

New numbers show how much help Sacramento area businesses are getting from the Paycheck Protection Program, the federal government’s biggest initiative to assist small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic. 

Adam Steinhauer, editor of the Sacramento Business Journal, joined CapRadio host Steve Milne to talk about the new data.

So these numbers come from the Small Business Administration?

Yeah, the data that the SBA released on Monday was after a lawsuit from media organizations including American City Business Journals, the Sacramento Business Journal’s parent company. That litigation is still ongoing as the data released Monday is incomplete and contains a lot of errors.

How many businesses in the region were impacted?

What we’ve found so far: about 7,700 companies in the city of Sacramento received PPP loans and more than 26,000 in the four-county Sacramento region.

Were you able to see which businesses received loans?

Some of the biggest borrowers, in the $5 million to $10 million range, were in construction and health care, with companies including Roebbelen Contracting in El Dorado Hills and Foundation Physicians Medical Group, which is affiliated with Dignity Health.

22,755 businesses received loans of less than $150,000. Our analysis found that about 17% of PPP loans locally went to restaurants, hotels and retail trade and arts venues – industries that were largely shut down for two months. Meanwhile, 48% went to construction, manufacturing, professional services and health care, industries that to some extent remained open.

Another story this week had to do with Yolo County. Officials plan to start fining and issuing misdemeanor citations to businesses that don’t follow COVID-19 health directives.

Yolo County said Tuesday that it may issue fines of up to $10,000 to businesses that do not adhere to measures like requiring face coverings and social distancing.

The county said its recent surge in cases has been linked, not just to social gatherings, but to workplaces, education and religious services. This comes after Gov. Newsom announced last week that the state will create “strike forces” from state regulatory agencies to enforce public health measures.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

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