Nearly 300 companies that received as much as half a billion dollars in Paycheck Protection Program funds have filed for bankruptcy, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of government data and court filings.
Many of the companies, employing a total of about 23,400 workers, say the funds from the PPP weren’t enough to keep them from going under as the coronavirus and lack of additional stimulus payments burdened their businesses.
The total number of companies that failed despite getting PPP loans is likely far higher. The analysis looked at only the big borrowers from the program, which accounts for about half of the overall loans though only about 13.5% of the total participants. Many small businesses simply liquidate when they run out of cash rather than file for bankruptcy.
The government has awarded some $525 billion in PPP loans to 5.2 million companies since April, according to the Small Business Administration.
The total amount lent to companies that went bankrupt is between $228 million and $509 million—the government publishes a range for the loan amounts. Half of the 285 firms identified by the analysis have filed for bankruptcy since August. Dozens of recipients, which come from nearly every state, cited the pandemic as a primary reason for entering bankruptcy. Read the full report.