Massive inequity found in distribution of PPP loans across New York

ppp loans
A small businesses relief program’s loans have disproportionately aided businesses in high-income neighborhoods, a study found.
Unsplash/Anastasiia Chepinska

Loans provided through the federal government’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP) saved nearly 1.4 million jobs across New York City amid the coronavirus outbreak — but an analysis of government data shows vast disparities in the financial aid’s distribution.

The forgivable loans of up to $10 million were distributed disproportionately to businesses in high-income neighborhoods, while many qualified businesses in southern Brooklyn were left unaided, a recent analysis by the apartment-listing website RentHop found. 

The Small Business Administration enacted the Payment Protection Program in April to curb massive job losses among businesses with 500 or fewer employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. In New York City alone, companies received more than 147,000 loans to secure their payroll and retain their employees.

Greenpoint, Park Slope, and Brooklyn Heights received the highest percentage of PPP loans out of any neighborhood in the city, with between 73 and 78 percent of businesses laying claim to a federal loan. Meanwhile, only 44 percent of businesses in Bay Ridge and 48 percent of businesses in Bath Beach received the funds — the second and fourth lowest numbers in the city.

Nearly 1,400 Greenpoint businesses received federal loans, allowing them to retain more than 10,400 jobs, the report found. Eight businesses raked in more than $2 million in loans, with two businesses logging somewhere between $5 and $10 million. 

In zip code 11209, which includes Bay Ridge and Fort Hamilton, nearly 1,100 businesses received a PPP loan, preventing the loss of nearly 7,000 jobs, the report found. Two businesses received loans over $2 million, and none received loans for over $5 million.

Midtown Manhattan’s 10001 ZIP code received the most PPP loans in New York City, and nearly a third of applicants (31 percent) received loans in excess of $150,000. Likewise, in downtown Manhattan, more than 40 percent of all PPP loans were also $150,000 or higher.

The business fields in New York City that received the most PPP help included professional, scientific and technological services; retail trade; health care; construction; and other miscellaneous services not provided by public administration, the report found.

Read the full report online at renthop.com.

This article first appeared on AMNY.com.