MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FOX13 is taking a closer look at which companies in Memphis are benefiting from those coveted PPP loans or the Paycheck Protection Program.
The program was created in March to help small businesses maintain payroll during the pandemic.
It was criticized early on after big-name corporations got loans over small businesses.
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The list of thousands of businesses in the Memphis-area is a snapshot of where billions of dollars in federal funding is going amid the pandemic.
The U.S. Small Business Administration released the redacted information Monday.
The data doesn’t show exact loan amounts, instead, it is separated by the following ranges: the highest loans were $5 to $10 million and some of the lowest were $150,000 to $350,000.
In Memphis, only seven businesses received PPP loans between $5 to $10 million. None of them were nonprofits and all of them corporations or LLC’s.
Several education companies such as charter schools and private colleges including KIPP Memphis received loans in the millions of dollars.
As FOX13 first told you in April, the public charter school closed two of its schools citing financial troubles caused by the pandemic. The closures left 700 families scrambling to find new schools for this fall.
FOX13 requested a virtual interview with KIPP Memphis’ board of director’s chairman about the PPP loan and how the school was using the funding.
The interview request was denied but in a statement to FOX13, a spokesperson for KIPP Memphis Collegiate Schools said the PPP loan allow them to “provide a high-quality education to our communities’ most high-need students.”
In regards to the school closures, the statement in part, “While this assistance provided much needed financial relief to KIPP Memphis, KIPP Preparatory Elementary and Middle Schools closed because we did not meet our academic promise to our students, teachers and families.”
The SBA said these categories represents nearly 75 percent of the loan dollars approved.
For all loans less than $150,000, SBA is releasing some information about those businesses, but it will not include business names and addresses.
The statement from KIPP Memphis Collegiate Schools reads as follows:
Our students and families have been severely impacted by the pandemic. The PPP loan allowed us to provide a high-quality education to our communities’ most high-need students. During the spring closures we provided Chromebooks to over 300 families and print resources to over 800 families. For the upcoming school year we will provide Chromebooks to 100% of our 1,780 students. KIPP Memphis created a relief fund to provide immediate economic assistance to families in need when schools were closed. KIPP Memphis, like all other schools, has and will continue to incur extensive cleaning and sanitary equipment expenses to ensure our schools are safe for our students, families and staff. In addition, KIPP Memphis will continue to build out our Mental Health supports and services as our families cope with COVID-19 and the horrific killings of Black men and women in this country.
While this assistance provided much needed financial relief to KIPP Memphis, KIPP Preparatory Elementary and Middle Schools closed because we did not meet our academic promise to our students, teachers and families.
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