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story.lead_photo.caption Julie Smith/News Tribune DeLong’s Steel, a manufacturing facility based in Jefferson City, availed their company of funding made available through the federal government’s Payroll Protection Program.

Thousands of Mid-Missouri jobs were saved during the economic tumult of the COVID-19 pandemic so far through the Paycheck Protection Program, according to the latest update from the federal government on the business aid program.

While the future of PPP remained unclear coming into the weekend — as Congress and the White House continued to debate the issue — a Jefferson City loan officer said the program has been a huge short-term benefit for local businesses.

"This was a huge Band-Aid," said Leslie Tanner, vice president of commercial loans and a commercial lender at Central Trust Bank.

The latest deadline to apply for a PPP loan was Saturday.

The program was established by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and is implemented by the Small Businesses Administration with support from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Tanner said the promissory note on a PPP loan is between a bank and the borrower; the SBA would step in and pay for the loan if a borrower were to default.

Businesses have been able to get up to eight weeks of payroll costs and benefits covered through a PPP loan, in addition to other costs such as utilities, mortgage interest and rent.

Tanner said the rules as to how much of loan has to be used for payroll have changed over time, but it ended up that at least 60 percent must be used for payroll.

She said payroll expenses are the easiest to document anyway and make loan forgiveness easier.

The loans will be fully forgiven if used for the proper expenses, according to the SBA.

The loans have an interest rate of 1 percent, with 12 months of deferral.

Loans issued before June 5 will mature in two years, and the ones issued after June 5 have a maturity of five years.

There is no requirement for collateral or personal guarantees, and neither the government nor lenders can charge businesses with fees.

As of July 24, 93,001 PPP loans had been approved for businesses in Missouri, for a total of more than $9.1 billion, according to the SBA.

July 7 data from the SBA — the most recent available — show Jefferson City Medical Group received the biggest loan of businesses in Jefferson City, totaling between $5 million-$10 million.

The data does not give an exact amount for the loans but gives a range. Many of the loans of more than $150,000 listed were approved in April, in the early days of PPP.

Six Jefferson City businesses received loans in the $2 million-$5 million range: DeLong's; Harold G. Butzer Inc.; Meyer Electric Company; Missouri Builders Service; Modern Litho; and TPK Valpo.

The PPP loans to JCMG and those six businesses saved at least 1,388 jobs, according to the data — 500 jobs at JCMG alone.

Before PPP, Tanner said, effects of the pandemic were not really being seen in lending, but customers were proactively reaching out to the bank to ask if they could defer the principal payment of existing loans for a few months to only have to pay interest.

She said companies were seeking financial flexibility.

When it came time to determine how much money a business would get through a PPP loan, Tanner said, 2019 payroll records were examined: Gross wages not over $100,000 were added up then divided by 12 to get a monthly payroll average for 2019; that monthly average from last year was then multiplied by 2.5 to determine the loan amount.

The 2 in 2.5 is for two months of payroll, and the remaining 0.5 is to account for expenses such as rent and utility payments.

Ten more Jefferson City businesses and other entities received PPP loans of between $1 million-$2 million, including the Community Health Center of Missouri.

Fifty-eight businesses and other entities each received between $350,000-$1 million, including the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City, Cathedral of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Helias Catholic High School, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, St. Peter Catholic Church, the Executive Board of the Missouri Baptist Convention, the Jefferson City YMCA, the Jefferson City Manor nursing home, Special Olympics Missouri and Whaley's Pharmacy.

Ninety-three Jefferson City businesses and other entities each received between $150,000-$350,000, including the Boys & Girls Club of Jefferson City, Calvary Lutheran High School, Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri, First Baptist Church, the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Trinity Lutheran Church, and the Vitae Foundation. St. Francis Xavier and St. Martin Catholic churches were also included in that group.

In all, at least 8,293 jobs were retained because of PPP loans of more than $150,000 in Jefferson City.

In broader Mid-Missouri, another 6,710 jobs were retained by loans of those sizes.

Some notable PPP loan recipients in Mid-Missouri communities outside of Jefferson City include:

Ashland: GKD Management, $2 million-$5 million.

California: Burgers Ozark Country Cured Hams, $2 million-$5 million; Lehman Construction, $1 million-$2 million.

Eldon: Gier Oil Company, Opies Transport, and S&S Used Auto Sales, all $1 million-$2 million each; Missouri Healthcare Network, $150,000-$350,000.

Freeburg: Quaker Window Products, $5 million-$10 million.

Fulton: William Woods University, $2 million-$5 million; Moser's Grocery and Westminster College, $1 million-$2 million each; Fulton Medical Center, $350,000-$1 million; St. Peter Catholic Church, $150,000-$350,000.

Holts Summit: Pro Food Systems, $1 million-$2 million.

Linn: Osage Industries, $1 million-$2 million; St. George Catholic Church, $150,000-$350,000.

Tipton: Co-Mo Electric Cooperative and Great Western Dining Service, $2 million-$5 million each; Kiowa Line Builders and Martin Energy Group, $1 million-$2 million each.

Wardsville: St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, $150,000-$350,000.

The SBA also has data sets on PPP loans of less than $150,000 — often to smaller businesses and self-employed individuals — but while that data gives specific loan amounts, it does not identify businesses.

In Jefferson City alone, those more than 1,100 smaller loans have totaled almost $38.18 million and saved 6,079 jobs.

The smallest loan listed was for $513.12 for a self-employed individual.

Tanner said self-employed people received two months of their annual net income for their loan amount.

She said loan recipients are "using these funds to get their employees back. We've seen it firsthand over and over. Our only disappointment was unemployment was so high."

In the case of businesses such as restaurants, she added, the loans allowed companies that had been out of revenue for weeks during the spring economic shutdown to get going again.

However, Tanner said, the true effects of COVID-19 for businesses have not yet entirely been seen.

What the true effect will be is "what's the new real for revenues for certain industries."

People are not traveling or booking event spaces as much, if at all, for example.

Tanner said once society enters a new normal, people will be spending their money in different ways than before, and businesses won't feel the effects of that until early fall — though it's difficult to say for sure as outbreaks of the disease continue.

"I always advise businesses to take a proactive action," she said. Sometimes things are good, but trends change, and businesses need to pay attention to what their revenues and expenses are.

"If you're seeing a different trend, you've got to react to that," Tanner said. If a restaurant had 80 percent of its customers dine-in before, but now more carry-out will have to be done, consider getting a better delivery truck or upgrading the phone line.

From the bank's perspective, Tanner added: "Employment is king everywhere. We will jump through hoops for businesses that hire."

In terms of the 170 PPP loans in Jefferson City of more than $150,000, Central Bank had the most as a lender, with almost 33 percent of the total number of those loans.

Jefferson Bank of Missouri had approximately 25.9 percent of the large loans; Hawthorn Bank, approximately 18.8 percent; Mid America Bank, approximately 7.6 percent; and rounding out the top five, UMB Bank, approximately 3.5 percent.

Adding together the minimum total of the large PPP loans and the total of the smaller loans, businesses and other entities in Jefferson City alone collectively received at least $99.43 million.

Editor's note: Central Missouri Newspapers Inc. — publisher of the Jefferson City News Tribune, Fulton Sun and California Democrat — received a $350,000-$1 million PPP loan, approved April 28, though the loan was listed with the data for the state of Arkansas.

Arkansas-based WEHCO Media, which owns CMNI, also received a loan in the same range. However, individual WEHCO-owned newspapers and other corporate divisions also received PPP loans of their own; company Chairman Walter E. Hussman said in May that WEHCO Media would receive a total of $12.3 million between its 21 separate companies.

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