Data Dive: Feds Reveal Which Vermont Employers Got Coronavirus Relief Loans | Off Message

Data Dive: Feds Reveal Which Vermont Employers Got Coronavirus Relief Loans


  • Thomas James
Updated at 2:21 p.m. on July 7, 2020

Some of Vermont's best-known companies have received millions in emergency federal coronavirus relief loans: Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Logic Supply in South Burlington, and S.D. Ireland in Williston, to name a few.

Nearly 12,000 Vermont employers — including Da Capo Publishing, which puts out Seven Days — have received loans totaling some $1.2 billion through the federal Paycheck Protection Program. They reported employing at least 113,000 people, according to data released on Monday by the federal Small Business Administration.

Both nationally and in Vermont, about two-thirds of all loans were for less than $50,000. Only 13 percent of the loans to Vermont businesses were for more than $150,000. And just seven businesses received between $5 million and $10 million: Bennington College, Copley Hospital, GW Plastics, iTech US, PC Construction, Momentum Manufacturing and the Vermont Energy Investment Corp.

After this story was published, VEIC clarified that it returned more than $5 million of that loan after the SBA narrowed the program guidelines, keeping just $254,411 of its original $5.4 million.

The SBA released the data after the Washington Post and 11 other news organizations sued for the names of every company that received a loan, as well as the dollar amount each received. The agency had previously released only summary data.

The loans, funded through the CARES Act, were designed to allow small businesses that lost revenue due to the pandemic to keep their employees working. The SBA, which is administering the program, will forgive loans to businesses that retain employees and use the funds according to guidelines.

In addition to that program, the State of Vermont began accepting applications on Monday for its own Emergency Economic Recovery Grants. The program, also funded through the CARES Act, will steer up to $50,000 to companies that have lost revenues due to COVID-19.

The SBA data show that professional and technical service providers made up the biggest subset of Vermont loan recipients, with 1,511 in all. They include law offices, accounting firms, software companies and consultants. 

But the health care and construction sectors received the most money. Health care companies received at least $119 million; construction firms, $118 million.

Seventy-eight nursing and residential care facilities received PPP loans, as did 13 home health care services.

Nearly 1,000 businesses in the accommodations and food services industry also received loans, including 151 hotels, 629 food service establishments and 35 bars. Trapp Family Lodge and Smugglers' Notch received between $2 million and $5 million, while Skinny Pancake received $1 million to $2 million.

While public schools were not eligible for PPP loans, 265 private and independent educational institutions received at least $39 million through the program. Eight colleges and 68 elementary and secondary schools qualified, as did two study abroad companies: Brattleboro-based World Learning and Putney Student Travel, co-owned by former governor Peter Shumlin and his brother.

DuBois Construction, a firm that Gov. Phil Scott formerly owned, received between $150,000 and $350,000. Scott sold his stake in the firm for $2.5 million several years ago, but, as Seven Days previously reported, he financed the deal himself — and gets monthly payments from the company.

In May, an SBA inspector general report found that the PPP failed to prioritize underserved and rural markets, as the CARES Act required — and failed to collect the data to show how it served those markets. In fact, the SBA did not collect information on gender, race or veteran status for the majority of those who received funding in Vermont. Nor has the agency released data on businesses that were turned down for the loans.

However, 694 of the 2,800 companies for which data was available were listed as female-owned. Of the 1,575 businesses for which race and ethnicity was filled out, 69 — or 4 percent — were listed as having nonwhite owners.

The SBA noted Monday that while it did not initially require borrowers to submit demographic information, it intends to collect that data on forms those businesses must submit to have their loans forgiven.

The data that was released has other gaps. For businesses that received loans of less than $150,000, for example, the SBA released exact dollar figures but excluded the names of the companies. For those that received more than $150,000, the SBA released the name of the company but assigned those companies ranges rather than exact dollar amounts received.

Search for businesses that received more than $150,000 using the table below:

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