Employers in the region receive tens of millions of PPP loans; Jobs were saved | Local News

Employers in the six largest cities in the Mankato region have received tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Employers in the region received at least $ 60 million, but the total figure is likely much higher than that. Data released by the government last week only shows a range for the amount each company received, say $ 5-10 million or $ 150,000-350,000.

The PPP was one of the key pieces of the federal government’s CARES law passed at the end of March to help businesses weather the pandemic. Most of the funding went to small businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

In the Mankato area, a veterinary clinic, brewery, private college, book publisher, powder coating company, healthcare facilities and senior residences were among those who potentially received loans. refundable.

Four area employers received between $ 5 million and $ 10 million: Bolton & Menk, ISG and Mankato Clinic, all in Mankato; and milk producers associated with New Ulm.

Several companies received between 2 and 5 million dollars: Abdo, Eick & Meyers, Big Gain, Crystal Valley Co-op, EI Microcircuits, FUN.com, Coughlan Companies, Le Sueur Inc., LW Management, Martin Luther College and Nuvera Communications.

Layoffs Avoided

“It helped a lot,” said Steve Hatkin, CFO of Mankato Clinic, which secured a $ 10 million loan.

“All healthcare organizations were hit hard in March, April and May. Our revenues have fallen by 50%. We were doing what we could to cut costs, but we wanted to keep our people. “

Clinic CEO Randy Farrow estimated that they would have had to lay off about half of their 850 employees if they had not received P3 funding.

Since the clinic couldn’t offer non-emergency services during the state’s initial lockdown, Hatkin said staff needed to take time off, but said they were able to get employees back much faster. thanks to the funds.

Employees kept on duty still had a lot to do, including transforming the North Mankato clinic into a respiratory clinic where in-car COVID-19 tests were done and patients with COVID symptoms were treated to keep them away from patients. and staff from their other clinics.

Hatkin said the application process for PPP requires a lot of information but is fairly straightforward and straightforward.

He said business was back in force, but there had also been additional costs.

“We have taken steps to ensure the safety of patients upon their return. We have employees who check patients as they arrive, segregating people with possible symptoms. We are burning (personal protective equipment). “

Mankato-based Bolton & Menk received a loan in the range of $ 5-10 million.

President and CEO Brad DeWolf said the company, which has 22 offices in Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota, has about 500 employees. He said they had not done a full assessment of the number of employees who should have been laid off without government help.

“We are still in a very uncertain time, so when the government launched the loan program, we requested it.”

He said that because construction was seen as an essential service, the staff at Bolton & Menk – who do a wide range of construction planning, engineering and administration – have been quite busy.

“So far, construction is progressing. We’ll see what happens as we look to 2021. ”

$ 11 billion goes to Minnesota

Companies that spend the majority of their money to continue paying workers rather than firing them will have PPP loans canceled.

The government said more than $ 500 billion was loaned last week, with more than $ 130 billion still available. Businesses have until August 8 to apply for PPP loans.

The U.S. Small Business Administration said employers in Minnesota have so far secured $ 11.2 billion in PPP loans, ranking the state No. 15 in the entire U.S. state. 132 employers received loans in the range of $ 5-10 million.

The Trump administration had refused to disclose some P3 beneficiaries after initially saying it would. After increasing pressure from Congress and lawsuits, the administration released the data.

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