Milford businesses reap benefits from PPP

MILFORD – The Paycheck Protection Program, which started in April 2020 as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) and ended May 31, 2021 benefiting 11.8 million businesses stricken with closures and shutdowns, including many here in .

There were 16,617 PPP loans approved in New Hampshire in 2021 alone, according to the Small Business Administration. The total 2021 amount approved was over $1 billion.

Loan applications were processed through banks and other traditional lenders, with the SBA backing the resulting loans. Around $800 billion in loans were approved nationwide under the program.

The loans are forgivable if borrowers meet certain criteria, including spending at least 60 percent of the money on payroll costs and maintaining employee compensation levels.

Area businesses that benefited from the program include the following:

• Airmar Technology Corp., 35 Meadowbrook Dr., received $4.3 million, with 312 jobs reported.

• Alene Candles, LLC, 51 Scarborough Lane, received $4.2 million, with 387 jobs reported.

• Chappell Tractor Sales, 454 Rte. 13, received $1.5 million, with 92 jobs reported.

• Ciardelli Fuel Company, Inc., 467 Nashua St., received $933,200, with 72 jobs reported.

• Cirtronics Corp., 528 Rte. 13 South, received $2.9 million, with 205 jobs reported. Cirtronics Corp. ESOP Plan, received $2 million, with 198 jobs reported.

• Family Dental Care of Milford, 154 Elm St., received $659,687, with 31 jobs reported.

• Innovairre Studios Inc., 200 528 Rte. 13, received $837,700, with 50 jobs reported.

• JP Pest Services, 101 Emerson Rd., received $2.4 million, with 177 jobs reported.

• Tech Transport, Inc., 300 Elm St., Ste 1, received $761,800, with 50 jobs reported.

Around 87 percent of the loans approved in 2021 were for $50,000 or less, and they accounted for a third of the total approved amount. The average loan size was $42,000.

There was some dissention with the PPP, as banks tended to prioritize larger, more established businesses. Congress raised fees for small loans in December to encourage lenders to make small business loans, and rules were changed in February to allow unprofitable solo businesses to qualify.

Several large companies drew public outrage after it was revealed that they applied and received PPP loans instead of relying on traditional capital-raising activities. The outcry prompted the SBA to review all loan applications over $2 million and issue guidance that the program was intended for businesses that lacked access to other cash-raising methods.

PPP is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. First draw PPP loans could be used for help fund payroll costs, including benefits and could also be used to pay mortgage interested, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, uninsured property damage costs caused by looting or vandalism during 2020, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations.

The SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.

PPP loans have an interest rate of 1%.

Loans issued prior to June 5, 2020, have a maturity of two years. Loans issued after June 5, 2020, have a maturity of five years.

Loan payments will be deferred for borrowers who apply for loan forgiveness until SBA remits the borrower’s loan forgiveness amount to the lender. If a borrower does not apply for loan forgiveness, payments are deferred 10 months after the end of the covered period for the borrower’s loan forgiveness (between 8 and 24 weeks).

• No collateral or personal guarantees are required.

• Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.