Thousands of Riverside County and San Bernardino Businesses Receive Federal Coronavirus Help – San Bernardino Sun

More than 6,300 businesses in Riverside and San Bernardino counties received federal loans greater than $ 150,000 this spring to support operations during the coronavirus pandemic, data shows released this week by the US Treasury Department.

In total, 650,000 northern small businesses nationwide have received such financial assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, which comes from the Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act of the United States. coronavirus, or CARES, and has seen the government distribute $ 521 billion as part of a $ 2 trillion bailout. .

Data released on Monday, July 6 does not show exact loan amounts, only ranges.

Additionally, only companies and organizations that received more than $ 150,000 were named, leaving 85% of the nearly 5 million loan recipients anonymous.

While the vast majority of companies in the Inland Empire received just $ 1 million to pay their employees, rents, and utilities, 22 companies – 11 in Riverside County and 11 in San County Bernardino – received loans between $ 5 million and $ 10 million, including Riverside- based at law firm Best, Best and Krieger, Diocese of San Bernardino, San Manuel Indian Health Clinic in Grand Terrace and the bank of LifeStream blood.

“What we hope is that the money can help us until our business returns to what it was before the pandemic,” said Dr. Rick Axelrod, President and CEO of LifeStream , by phone on Wednesday July 8. a lifeline. A lifeline for our organization and our employees.

As hospitals canceled elective surgeries – and cut back on their use of blood products – at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, LifeStream lost $ 1.5 million in revenue in just one month, Axelrod said. As a result, a plan was put in place to lay off 100 employees, or 25% of the company’s workforce.

The $ 5 million LifeStream received in federal aid “was an absolute lifeline,” Axelrod said. “In the future, we are able to use the money to finance our employees.

About 200 companies in the Inland Empire have received loans of up to $ 5 million, the data shows, while more than 500 have received more than $ 2 million.

Sectors assisted by federal funds include construction, finance, foodservice, health care, manufacturing, real estate, retail and transportation, among others.

The loans, which the Small Business Administration says will be fully forgiven if at least 60% of funds are used for payroll, should help small businesses and nonprofits in the region keep hundreds of thousands of jobs.

What is considered a “small business” varies by industry, but is generally defined by the number of employees or average annual revenue. Most non-manufacturing companies with average annual revenues of less than $ 7.5 million are considered small businesses, according to federal officials.

San Bernardino’s beloved Laymon Candy Company did the trick.

“We might have survived without it,” co-owner Tim Applen said of the approximately $ 200,000 he regional candy retailer, manufacturer and distributor received, “but that would have been a struggle”.

As with LifeStream Blood Bank, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Redlands-Riverside lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue when the coronavirus crisis ended traditional spring programming.

This spring, the federal loan helped the Redlands-based club, which was willing to put employees on leave if not for $ 545,000 in aid, fill its coffers and continue to pay workers their average hours, even if they don’t. they worked virtually and on reduced hours.

“We have moved from reviewing leave letters to paying our employees for their average hours,” PT McEwen, club president and CEO, said on Wednesday. “It was good for our employees and good for the children and families we serve.

Riverside and Corona topped Riverside County towns in loans received with 693 and 566, respectively. More than 360 Temecula companies were relieved.

Ontario followed San Bernardino County, the largest county in the continental United States, with 579 loans, followed by Rancho Cucamonga (408), Chino (311), San Bernardino (239) and Fontana (235).

Meanwhile, an analysis by the Southern California News Group found that businesses in Riverside and San Bernardino counties received about 20,300 and 17,100 loans, respectively, for a total of less than $ 150,000 each.

In total, the small loans were to protect more than 210,000 local jobs.

Originally scheduled to expire on June 30, the paycheck protection program has been extended until August 8.

Editor-in-chief Nikie Johnson contributed to this report.

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