The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been hailed as a life saver for small businesses in New York. But not all sectors have benefited equally.
New York has distributed $1.5 billion since April 2020 to real estate, rental and leasing companies. That’s just 4.6 percent of the total amount disbursed in the state, according to a February analysis by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office. Those loans were distributed among 22,000 participants, with the average size being $70,361.
By comparison, retailers in New York received 9.9 percent of the loans across 48,000 businesses, totaling $3.5 billion.
Accommodation and food services similarly received a larger chunk, with 9.1 percent. In that category, $5.5 billion was distributed to 45,000 applicants.
Still, those categories fall behind professional, scientific and technical services, which received 14.3 percent of the loans, a total of $7 billion that is stretched among 70,000 participants.
A separate report by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce found that 81 percent of all loans went to businesses with 10 or fewer employees and 69 percent of loans were in the amount of $50,000 or less.
Even so, some major companies got fat payoffs thanks to PPP. Among those that received loans of $5 million or more are co-working firm Knotel, which has since gone into bankruptcy; Meridian Capital Group; and CIM Group’s Dominick Hotel at 246 Spring Street, formerly known as Trump Soho.
New York received the third most loans in terms of value, falling behind California and Texas. Within the state, the number of loans in each borough roughly aligns with the percentage of businesses located in that borough. Manhattan got the most, with $14 billion, or 57 percent of all funds.
But even with the loans, New York businesses have suffered greatly in the wake of the pandemic. The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce report estimates that New York City lost 635,000 jobs between February 2020 and February 2021, and that 42 percent of the city’s small businesses have closed since the pandemic began.
Jessica Walker, president and CEO of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, noted that while the PPP rollout has “not been perfect … without it, we would have seen far more layoffs and business closures.”