A look at which Vermont companies got PPP funds

Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 5:56 PM EDT
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We now know which 12,000 Vermont businesses got paycheck protection program loans. Our Calvin Cutler has more on the companies that got the cash.

The money went to many businesses across the state, from manufacturing plants to retail to the Spirit of Ethan Allen in Burlington. Many business owners say the loans came at the right time and that they probably wouldn't be open without them.

Some $1.2 billion in federal cash made its way to Vermont employers during the thick of the pandemic.

Mike Shea, the owner of the Spirit of Ethan Allen, says he received a loan for $300,000, allowing him to keep his 21 employees on the payroll.

If I didn't get the grant, I may have been out of business. I may have had to get a loan, I don't know," he said. "We were in a dire spot."

The loans, funded by the CARES Act, are designed to encourage employers to keep employees on the payroll and out of the unemployment line.

The feds this week released the names of companies awarded over $150,000.

There are some big names, like G.W. Plastics, Dubois Construction and the Vermont Law School receiving loans over $2 million.

Most of the loans went to the construction, retail and technical service industry, such as law firms. But there's just about every kind of business under the sun.

"As of March 20th, I think, the schools were shut, so we had no place to go," Susan Kimmerly said.

Kimmerly owns the Nine East Network in Montpelier. It teaches children who are deaf or hard of hearing. She received $360,000 to keep her business alive.

"The Paycheck Protection Program, first of all, helped us get ready for what we knew would be reduced revenues and they were reduced significantly. We're still calculating $280,000 of reduced revenues," Kimmerly said.

But Vermont isn't out of the woods yet. State and health leaders are concerned about a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall, so the state is saving cash for extra help if needed.

Though the PPP program isn't the end of the line, Shea says he's grateful to be around another summer.

"Our customers are thankful we're here, our employees are thankful they have a job, they understand unemployment is high. I know they have bills to pay. I'm more than happy to help them. They're helping me and I'm helping them," Shea said.

Though we can see the names of companies that received over $150,000, there are still around 10,000 companies in Vermont that received loans below that amount. The federal government doesn't disclose their names.