Business

Update: Texas Leads In COVID-19 Small Business Loan Approval

In Greater Houston, the loans have already surpassed those for Hurricane Harvey.

President Donald Trump listens as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in Washington.

Updated 11:50 p.m. CT Wednesday: California has now been approved for more total dollars in small business loans, though Texas still has the most loans approved

The state of Texas is on track to receive more small business loans than any other state since the passage of federal legislation to keep the economy afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic — and lawmakers and the White House reached a deal Tuesday that would provide even more funds to small businesses affected by COVID-19.

The deal totals more than $480 billion and includes $320 billion for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, created by the CARES Act.

As of April 16, the SBA has approved nearly 135,000 loans totaling more than $28.4 billion for Texas businesses under the PPP, making the Lone Star State No. 1 in approved loans. Businesses in California have been approved for even more money overall, $33.4 billion.

As of April 13, nearly $3 billion of that money went to more than 8,300 small companies in southeast Texas, including Houston.

That number is already much higher than disaster loans approved after Hurricane Harvey.

Back then, small businesses received more than $450 million – a total of 3,906 loans. With homeowners added in, a total of $1.3 billion in loans were approved for Harvey, said Mark Winchester, deputy district director at the SBA in Houston.

The comparison shows just how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting small businesses in southeast Texas.

“What the lenders here in Houston would normally do in a year, they did in 14 days,” Winchester said. “Three hundred percent of what they would normally do in a year.”

He said community lenders are stepping up and have doubled in number, to 400 in the region.

The CARES Act funded the PPP for loans totaling $349 billion for small businesses nationwide.

The 1% interest loan is capped at $10 million per business. It doesn’t have to be paid back if it is used to cover payroll costs and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over an eight-week period after the loan is made, and if employee and compensation levels are maintained.

 Congress is expected to vote on the additional funds this week.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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