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Program saves nearly 17,900 jobs in county

July 6, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

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The federal government on Monday identified roughly 650,000 of the mostly small businesses and nonprofits that received taxpayer money through a program designed to lessen job losses from the coronavirus. On the other hand, some critics contend the program benefited wealthy, well-connected companies and firms.

The Treasury Department listed just a fraction of the total borrowers for the federal Payroll Protection Program, naming only companies that got more than $150,000.

Those firms made up less than 15 percent of the nearly 5 million small companies and organizations that received a share of the government-backed $659 billion in low-interest business loans that will be forgiven if employers use the money on payroll, rent and similar expenses. Statewide, about one-sixth of the more than 165,000 entities from Pennsylvania that borrowed money received $150,000 or more.

Closer to home, 429 businesses in Butler County received loans ranging from $150,000 to $5 million for a total of between $136.65 million and $324 million in federal aid that helped save nearly 17,900 local jobs. This number does not include loans of less than $150,000.

Companies typically must have fewer than 500 workers to qualify. The average loan amount was about $107,000, according to the Treasury Department.

Read more in Tuesday's Butler Eagle.

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