DOWNERS GROVE – Nearly 1,300 Downers Grove businesses and organizations received Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, loans for financial relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released this week by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Records provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) divided the results into financial categories: Businesses that received less than $150,000 in funds and businesses that received more than $150,000.
A total of 1,080 Downers Grove businesses and organizations received less than $150,000 in PPP loans, to allow businesses to save a purported 5,717 jobs, according to Treasury documents. Loans totaled just under $40 million in amounts ranging from $15 to $149,400.
While the names of businesses that received under $150,000 were not released by the SBA, the names of 187 Downers Grove businesses that received higher than that amount were published. Those loans allowed businesses to retain 10,070 jobs, according to Treasury documents.
The highest category, those receiving between $5 million and $10 million, include Downers Grove businesses Flexible Steel Lacing Co., which retained 458 jobs, and Sevan Multi-Site Solutions Inc. which retained 250 jobs, documents show.
Those Downers Grove businesses awarded between $2 million and $5 million were American Dream Home Improvement Inc., Arrow Gear LLC, BMCH Inc., Cardiac Surgery Associates SC, Compusystems Inc., DSI Holdings Corp., Flavorchem Corp., JS Fort Group Inc., Neighborhood Loans Inc., Premium Concrete Inc. and Rescar Companies.
Businesses receiving between $1 million and $2 million included Allant Group LLC, Alltranstek LLC, Avery Coonley School, Blue Chip Retail Group, CK II Contracting Inc., Delta Industries Inc., Downers Grove Imports LTD., Elite Electronic Engineering Inc., Gee Group Inc., Iwanski Masonry Inc., J.J. Collins Sons Inc., Jacob & Hefner Associates Inc., JK Buick GMC Inc., Lextech Global Services Corp., Marketing Card Technology LLC, Mid Ventures Inc., P4 Security Solutions LLC, Packey Webb Ford, Straight North LLC, Tivoli Enterprises Inc., Tympani LLC, Wingren Landscape Inc. and Ziegler Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Downers Grove.
Mike Cassa, president and CEO of the Downers Grove Economic Development Corp., praised the program as a "tremendous amount of financial relief for companies that did not want to let their companies go."
"The program was very much-needed and proved to be a way for businesses to stay open and/or to retain their employees," Cassa said. "Otherwise a lot of companies would have had to let their employees go or close altogether."
"The term Paycheck Protection Program was really accurate because it helped protect paychecks," Cassa added. "Some other companies were able to use funds that would normally have gone to keep an employee on board to use for other costs, whether for administrative costs, paying suppliers, paying their taxes. It was positive on a number of fronts."
Cassa cited three other programs made available for businesses looking for financial relief. DuPage County's small business relief program has provided forgivable loans to smaller businesses that Cassa said has proven very beneficial. Hr said the Small Business Administration has "a whole menu" of loan programs for small businesses.
Also, the state of Illinois has had a couple grant programs, one in April for restaurants and hotels. Cassa said that five Downers Grove businesses applied for and received funds in that program. He said the state has just completed the application process for business interruption grants.
"A number of Downers Grove businesses applied, especially restaurants, hair salons and gyms," Cassa said. "Those were businesses that had to shut down during the stay-at-home order.
Cassa said it's difficult to forecast the local economic outlook.
In the immediate, Phase 4 requirements limiting capacity to 50 or less people is tough on hotels, banquet facilities and theaters like the Tivoli in Downers Grove.
"I wish I had a crystal ball," Cassa said. "I think the economy is showing signs of recovery. The difficulty is what will the pace of the recovery be. The answer is different, I think, depending on the industry.
"It will take some industries, especially the hospitality industry, longer to recover as opposed to professional offices and manufacturing. I think the retail sector is sort of depending on whether they were allowed to stay open during the shutdown. It really depends on the individual sector."