FILE - Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration building in Washington, D.C.

(The Center Square) – More than 393,000 small businesses and organizations in Florida have received $32 billion in emergency federal loans, saving an estimated 3.2 million jobs, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Department of Treasury.

SBA and Treasury revealed this week 4.88 million businesses nationwide have secured $521.48 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans since the program was launched in April.

Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who leads the Senate Small Business Committee, called the PPP “a historic lifeline for more than 4.8 million small businesses. It is clear that financial damage from the (COVID-19) pandemic will continue to impact small businesses even as the economy re-opens.”

SBA also released a report that lists 660,000 organizations across the country that received PPP loans between $150,000 and $10 million, including more than 40,000 in Florida.

SBA does not provide the names of businesses that secured loans under $150,000, which constitute 86.5 percent of the nearly 5 million businesses participating in the program. The average loan was $107,000, according to SBA. However, 14 percent of the loans over $150,000 represent nearly 75 percent of the PPP money loaned through June 30.

Congress approved PPP to assist businesses in paying workers instead of laying them off during the COVID-19 emergency. The program has been extended through August, so businesses still can apply.

The loans will be forgiven if recipients show the money was used for payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities.

The U.S. Treasury said Florida’s 393,000 PPP recipients is second to California, and the $32 billion loaned through June 30 to Florida businesses trails only amounts awarded in California, Texas and New York.

More than 96 percent of Florida applicants’ payrolls were covered by PPP loans, the highest percentage of any state, Treasury said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said PPP loans were issued to companies that collectively employ more than 51 million people, about 80 percent of the nation’s small business workforce.

Mnuchin said 27 percent of the loans were awarded to small businesses in low- and moderate-income communities, and the average loan amount was $100,000.

“In three months, this administration was able to act quickly to get funding into the hands of those who faced enormous obstacles as a result of the pandemic,” SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said in a statement. “[The] data shows small businesses of all types and across all industries benefited from this unprecedented program."

The SBA list comes with a “jobs retained” element by the Treasury in descriptions of the loans and the companies that received them, calculating cumulatively that PPP loans allowed employers to pay 3.2 million workers instead of laying them off during the shutdown.

Examples include:

• At least 39 companies in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, Polk, Hernando and Citrus counties received loans between $5 million to $10 million, according to the Tampa Bay Times, which Treasury said equates to “12,000 jobs retained.”

• About 830 Polk County businesses received PPP loans, with at least three receiving loans between $5 million to $10 million each, which Treasure maintains retained 1,000 jobs.

• In Tallahassee, 547 companies received between $71.5 million to $292 million to pay employees, which Treasury equates to 24,400 local jobs retained.