Which Wichita County businesses got PPP loans and still owe money?
In the Wichita Falls area, like the rest of the country, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans have saved lives in the storm of COVID-19 for many businesses.
The loans have helped businesses large and small keep their businesses going and pay their employees.
The Small Business Administration has an ongoing list of businesses that have received these loans, how many they have gotten, and who still owes money on the loans.
According to the latest numbers, 4,136 PPP loans have been issued in Wichita County since the program began in 2020, totaling just over $241 million.
Of the original total, 3,610 of those loans have now been forgiven, or nearly $215 million.
That leaves about $27 million in loans still outstanding.
Most PPP loans granted for $25,000 or less
The industry with the highest amount of PPP loans went to health care and social assistance where 412 loans were approved for a total of nearly $53 million.
More than half of PPP loans issued were for $25,000 or less.
There were 28 loans over $1 million each.
The main borrowers in the region were:
- Patterson Auto Center Inc., which reported 256 employees and applied for a PPP loan of approximately $3.7 million on April 10, 2020.
- Willowbend Investments, Inc., reported 82 employees and was approved for a loan of approximately $3.2 million on April 6, 2020.
- North Central Community Health Care Center, Inc., reported 255 employees and was approved for a $2.8 million loan on April 9, 2020.
- Clinics of North Texas LLP, which has 179 employees, received approval for a $2.7 million loan on April 28, 2020.
- Hospice of Wichita Falls, Inc., reported 213 employees and was approved for a loan of approximately $2.3 million on April 5, 2020.
Who is eligible for PPP loan forgiveness?
Borrowers of PPP loans are eligible for full loan forgiveness if, during the covered period:
- Their employee and compensation levels are maintained
- Loan proceeds are used for payroll and other eligible expenses, and
- At least 60% of the revenue is devoted to salary costs.
Borrowers can apply for loan forgiveness once all of the requested payment has been used. If the borrower does not request forgiveness within 10 months of the last day of the covered period, PPP loan repayments are no longer deferred and the borrower must begin making loan repayments.
While most PPP loans have been issued to legitimate businesses, the SBA said it cracks down on fraudulently obtained PPP loans.
According to a report by Thomas Reuters, in the United States, the amount of PPP loans fraudulently obtained could reach $76 billion of the $800 billion distributed under the program.
After the CARES Act passed, the SBA said it would audit every borrower who received a PPP loan over $2 million.
All PPP loan borrowers, even those who are cancelled, are required to keep documentation to support their PPP loan application for six years.
It remains to be determined whether the SBA will audit PPP loan borrowers who have received $2 million or less.
Potential fraud on PPP loans in Wichita County
According to PPP Detective, a non-governmental monitoring site that allows people to report potential PPP loan fraud, there are at least 50 businesses in Wichita Falls that are flagged as potential fraud.
Site founder Brian Hamachek, a software engineer, said he noticed some discrepancies while researching PPP loan recipients in his area. He decided to create the site as a crowdsourced fraud detection for the benefit of the public.
The site uses information provided by the SBA, but is not affiliated with the SBA. Information on the site regarding potential companies reported is provided to the SBA.
Just because a company is reported on the site does not definitively indicate that the loan was fraudulent or that the company acted illegally.
Most businesses reported in the Wichita County area received loans of around $20,000 or less.
The local business with the most flags, nine reports according to PPP Detective, was a one-employee child care business that received $20,570.
Two businesses received six reports each, a beauty salon with one employee that received just over $18,000 and a one-employee business listed only as “personal services,” which was approved for a loan of almost $18,000. $21,000.
PPP loan repayments on these reported companies range from around $4,000 to over $1.1 million.
Hamachek admits that law enforcement is unlikely to use his site to investigate a case of fraud, as most investigations are initiated by the bank or lender that approved the PPP loan.
The SBA conducts its own investigation into possible PPP loan fraud and may report a company that:
- Applies to multiple PPP loans with different lenders
- Made false statements about his candidacy
- Submit an incomplete application
- Uses PPP funds for ineligible expenses
- Submits false information on his PPP loan forgiveness application.
If anyone has information about potentially fraudulent use of PPP loans, they can report it to the Office of Inspector General at 800-767-0385 or use the website to file a complaint https://sbax.sba. gov/oigcss/. A person can anonymously submit a report of PPP loan fraud.
Learn more about PPP loan borrowers in the Wichita County area at https://data.timesrecordnews.com/paycheck-protection-program-loans/