Like many Jefferson County businesses, both big and small, Brad Basler said he was happy the Payroll Protection Program accomplished what it was intended for.
Basler, who co-owns Crystal Coin and Jewelers, 521 Bailey Road, in Crystal City, said the $20,200 his business received through the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program has been a big help for him and his five employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 – popularly known as the PPP – was funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act approved by Congress earlier this year.
The intent of the program was to help businesses meet payroll expenses during the mandated closures of businesses deemed non-essential and a falloff of business for those allowed to remain open during the pandemic.
“The idea is that it would help businesses stay in business by being able to assist with paying workers,” said Todd Tracy, executive director of the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation.
Basler said it did just that.
Crystal Coin and Jewelers, not considered an essential business, was closed from March 23 until May 4, when restrictions on businesses were eased.
“We did a little business by appointment only (during the closure), but it wasn’t much to speak of,” Basler said.
The PPP was designed primarily for businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
In addition to helping to maintain payroll and employee benefits, PPP loans could be used to pay rent or mortgage and utility bills and pay down existing debt.
“Our major expenses are rent, utilities and the payroll,” Basler said. “When we finally got the check on the 20th of April, it was a relief. We don’t have large cash reserves, so we needed that cash. It helped.”
Leader Publications Inc., which publishes this newspaper, received a larger PPP loan, for $242,921.
Assistant Publisher Peggy Scott said all that money is being spent on salaries.
The PPP loan has allowed the Leader to continue operating at full staff through the pandemic.
“Keeping our staff on the job remains essential as the community faces this crisis,” she said. “Our role is to provide hyper-local information about the outbreaks, including monitoring the governmental agencies that monitor the virus. Readers look to us for information about day-to-day activities, like which stores are open and what events are canceled. We are bringing you news you can use, like how to cast absentee ballots.”
While the program is administered by the SBA, individual banks are charged with processing applications and verifying the loan recipients are holding up their part of the bargain by maintaining pre-COVID employment levels, Terry said.
“The folks at Commerce Bank (in Festus) were great people to work with,” Basler said.
He said the program hasn’t been without its wrinkles.
“They want canceled checks for everything,” he said. “No one gets canceled checks anymore.”
However, Tracy said, the program has gotten better as it has gone along.
“In the beginning, because there weren’t a lot of processes in place, the banks were hesitant about writing these loans,” he said. “It wasn’t clear what would happen if a business defaulted, for instance, or what criteria they should use. Once those issues got cleared up, things started happening.”
Tracy said loans made after June 1 may be repaid over five years, rather than two years on the earlier notes.
Originally, borrowers were required to spend 75 percent of the loan on payroll expenses, and that has been reduced to 60 percent.
“They don’t want businesses just putting that money in the bank,” Tracy said.
Congress is considering forgiving all PPP loans of less than $150,000.
Also, the deadline to apply for a PPP loan has been extended through Aug. 8.
Tracey said another problem with the PPP was that it competed in an unintended way with the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program that added $600 per week to regular unemployment insurance collected during the pandemic.
“In certain industries, that’s had an unexpected effect,” Tracy said, “because some people figured they could collect more money by not working. That’s been clarified that any employer has to report an employee who refuses to come back to work.”
Congress is considering extending the unemployment benefit supplement past its July 31 expiration, although it may be for a lesser amount.
Tracy also noted that Congress is considering a second round of PPP loans because the pandemic’s effects are lingering longer than many expected.
“I don’t have a crystal ball, but I would hope that if Congress is going to provide more help, it would fix some of the problems with the PPP,” he said. “It wasn’t a perfect solution, but it did seem to help businesses in Jefferson County across the board, from retail to manufacturing.”
PPP loan recipients
More than 3,000 Jefferson County and Eureka businesses were at the receiving end of at least $191,508,050 in federal aid through the Payroll Protection Program coronavirus stimulus loan program administered by the Small Business Administration.
A little less than half of that amount – $94.3 million – went to 276 companies that received loans of $150,000 to $10 million.
Additional loans of less than $150,000 totaling $97,241,050 went to 2,776 companies in Jefferson County, Eureka and Fenton.
It is not possible to discern the exact loan amount extended to local companies because U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin approved releasing the only the names of borrowers of $150,000 or more – and only in five loan ranges rather than the exact loan amounts. That decision reversed Mnuchin’s previous stance that he would release no data on the $600 billion federal loan program.
For loans under $150,000, the exact loan amounts were made public, but the names of businesses that borrowed the money were not.
What’s known is that only one entity in Jefferson County – Fenton-based Joyce Meyer Ministries – was listed in the top tier of loans, from $5 million to $10 million.
The PPP generally is for businesses with fewer than 500 employees and may be used to maintain payroll and employee benefits, pay rent or mortgage and utility bills and pay down existing debt. The loans may be forgiven, provided workers continue to be employed.
Here is a list of all Jefferson County and Eureka businesses that received PPP loans of $150,000 or more, by city and loan amount.
For the loans under $150,000, a total number of businesses and total amount for each city is given.
• $2 million to $5 million: G.M. Johnson Cos. Inc., Sinclair & Rush Inc.
• $1 million to $2 million: Bates Electric Inc., Kozeny-Wagner Inc., KSJN LLC, LMC Industries Inc., Medart Inc.
• $350,000 to $1 million: Acid Piping Technology Inc., Arnold Defense and Electronics LLC, BHMG Engineers Inc., Compi Distributors Inc., Electro Express LLC, First Baptist Church Of Arnold, Perfection Steel Erection Inc., Plattin Creek Excavating LLC, Sentinel Emergency Solutions LLC, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Syberg’s Arnold LLC, Unico Inc., Wachter Inc., Warren Sign Company Inc.
• $150,000 to $350,000: 5 Star Auto Body, Adam Battaglia DMD, Water Tower Dental Group PC, Alnis Inc., Amusement Concepts Inc., Arnold Smiles LLC, Bartels-Missey Siding and Insulation Co. Inc., Benjamin Manheimer, Braina Trans LLC, C.L. Smith Industrial Co., CCJD LLC (Hot Shots Sports Bar and Grill), Chesterfield Hospitality Inc., Diane G. Wilson OD and Associates PC, Express Medical Billing Inc., Family Finance Mortgage LLC, Genesis International Inc., Harris Collision Center Inc., Hellenbrand Foods Inc., Holy Child School, Howard Home Improvement Inc., Huffman Security Co. Inc., Just Pools Inc., K&K Car Repair Inc., Kassebaum Restaurants Inc., Lormax Rehabilitation and Health Care Inc., Miken Technologies Inc., Moss Enterprise Inc., Perkins Contracting Co., Red Oak Landscaping Inc., Richard McDermott DDS MS Orthodontics, R.S. Wagner LLC, Shelton Landscape and Maintenance Inc., South County Nursing Home Inc., Spencer Contracting Co., Squires Towing and Recovery Inc., STLPP5 LLC, Wesken and Walrob Ltd., Wojtyna DDS LLC, Zingers Inc.
• Below $150,000: 377 loans for $12,206,570.
• $1 million to $2 million: Home Service Oil Co., Piros Signs Inc.
• $350,000 to $1 million: Second Sight Systems LLC.
• $150,000 to $350,000: Dura-Seal Paving And Stripe Inc., G’sell Bros. Concrete Inc., Kodiak Equipment Services Inc., McCoy’s Inc.
• Below $150,000: 86 loans for $2,373,484.
• Below $150,000: 17 loans for $294,386.
• $350,000 to $1 million: Black Knight Enterprises LLC.
• $150,000 to $350,000: ATK Safety Supply Inc., Bill Williams Construction Co. Inc., HDD Enterprise LLC.
• Below $150,000: 51 loans for $1,629,311.
• $1 million to $2 million: Crystal Oaks Long Term Care, Employee Staffing Group LLC.
• $150,000 to $350,000: Blakely Sheet Metal LLC, Custom Insurance Services Inc., Four Paws Animal Care Corp., Heartland Fire Protection LLC, Premiere Eye Associates, Speedway Steel Fabrication Inc., Wright Living Real Estate LLC.
• Below $150,000: 70 loans for $2,504,875.
• $350,000 to $1 million: Auto Plaza Dealer Group II LLC, De Soto Fuels Inc., Haake Manufacturing Co., Hillcrest Care Center Inc., KWYK Inc., Sheet Metal Contractors Inc.
• $150,000 to $350,000: Auto Plaza Dealer Group, Caldwell Outdoor Equipment Co. Inc., De Soto Family Practice, De Soto Investment Group LLC, Nationwide Turf Installation Inc., Tagteam Global Inc.
• Below $150,000: De Soto: 128 loans for $4,291,890.
• $350,000 to $1 million: Sana Lake Recovery Center LLC.
• $150,000 to $350,000: Gerding Enterprises Inc.
• Below $150,000: 26 loans for $735,222.
• $2 million to $5 million: J.M. Marschuetz Construction Co.
• $1 million to $2 million: Con-Tech Carpentry LLC, Gershenson Construction Co. Inc., Waddell Concrete.
• $350,000 to $1 million: Byerly Trailer and Manufacturing Co. Inc., CT Carpentry and Exteriors LLC, Eckelkamp Developments LLC (Holiday Inn at Six Flags), Friend Acoustical Ceiling Inc., Hit Consulting LLC, Pacific Manor LLC, Selberts Auto Body Inc., St. Andrew's at Francis Place.
• $150,000 to $350,000: Ashton Enterprises Ltd., Asusa Worldwide LLC, Boling Concrete Construction Inc., Con-Tech Insulation LLC, Dynamic Green Solutions LLC, E and M Plumbing Co. Inc., Eureka Auto Collision Center LLC, Eureka Springs Inc., Legends Golf Partners LLC, Melvin Brewing Eureka LLC, Meyer Painting LLC, Most Sacred Heart Catholic Church, PP and DJ Foods Inc., Sellenriek Grading and Landscaping Co. Inc., St. Mark’s Lutheran Church of Allenton Inc., The Right Solution Inc., Wrex Group LLC, Westfall Company Inc.
• Below $150,000: 212 loans for $7,433.918.
• $5 million to $10 million: Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc.
• $2 million to $5 million: Erb Equipment Co. Inc., Koller Enterprises Inc.
• $1 million to $2 million: Central States Bus Sales Inc., Martin Jetco Heating and Air Conditioning, Pipe and Duct Systems LLC, Production Castings Inc., Security Equipment Corp.
• $350,000 to $1 million: Acme Erectors Inc., Aero Metal Finishing LLC, Atlas 46 LLC, Atlas Construction and Design Inc., BCDM Capital Group Inc., Central Dental Holdings LLC, Comarco St. Louis Corp., Cori Manor Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center LLC, Custom Machine Works LLC, Power Supply Industries Inc., R.F. Meeh Co., Technical Sales and Service Inc., Tops Unlimited Inc., True North Management Services LLC, Western Wire Products Co.
• $150,000 to $350,000: Accurate Asphalt Paving Co. Inc., Automotive Technology Inc., Bemes Inc., Boyet Manufacturing Inc., Chucks Acquisition Co. LLC, Drake Carpentry Inc., Edco USA Inc., Four Process Limited, Handling Systems Inc., Jeffco Guttering Inc., Kiefer's Lawn and Landscaping LLC, Loomis Brothers Equipment Co., Martin C. Heck Brick Contracting Co., Martin Jetco Inc., Massage Luxe International LLC, Meeh Climate Service, MJ Products Inc., T and E LLC, Walking Cradle Co., TRC Outdoor LLC.
• Below $150,000: 583 loans for $24,125,231 (includes businesses in Jefferson County and St. Louis County).
• $2 million to $5 million: Community Treatment Inc.
• $1 million to $2 million: Good Earth Tools Inc., NextStep For Life Inc.
• $350,000 to $1 million: Crystal Heating and Cooling Service Inc., D and S Fencing Co. Inc., Huskey Bus and Transportation Service, Lucas Smith Dodge, Malik Corp.
• $150,000 to $350,000: A-B Contracting Inc., Above and Below Contracting LLC, Bill Revelle Trucking Inc., CC Partners LLC, Disability Resource Association Inc., Gary Surdyke Motorcycle Inc., Gateway to Outdoor Solutions LLC, Interventional Pain Institute LLC, Jane E. Breeze DMD, Jokerst Paving and Contracting Inc., K.A. Pazdera Hauling and Excavating LLC, La Pachanga Mexican Restaurant, Leader Publications Inc., Main and Mill Brewing Co. LLC, Mann’s Restoration Inc., Manzoor Tariq Inc., MI Pazdera Hauling LLC, Our Lady Catholic Church, Synergy Ent Specialists PC, Taytro’s Inc., Wee Care Learning Center Inc., Werner C. Stichling and Associates Inc., Y Cycle Inc.
• Below $150,000: 270 loans for $9,070,406.
• Below $150,000: 1 loan for $69,537.
• Below $150,000: 4 loans for $33,291.
• $1 million to $2 million: Sapaugh Motors Inc.
• $350,000 to $1 million: Poppell Investment Co., Reuther’s Investment Co.
• $150,000 to $350,000: Autocenters Herculaneum LLC, Bauman Oil Distributors Inc., Becker Dental Laboratory Inc., HHCP OE LP, Sapaugh Auto Body LLC.
• Below $150,000: 25 loans for $570,770.
• $2 million to $5 million: H-J Enterprises Inc.
• $350,000 to $1 million: Accurate Fire Protection Systems LLC, D and S Car Wash Equipment Co., Sieveking Inc.
• $150,000 to $350,000: Advantage Veterinary Center, Bendler Mechanical Co. Inc., Classic Films Inc., Diansuply Inc., Final Clean LLC, Hardline Contracting LLC, John Alex McAteer (McAteer Installations), Lee Properties Inc., Mediquip Parts Plus Inc., Metro Roofing and Repair Service Inc., St. Louis Business Forms Inc., St. Louis Select Landscaping and Lawn Care LLC.
• Below $150,000: 203 loans for $6,878,216.
• $1 million to $2 million: Kirkhuff Management Inc.
• $350,000 to $1 million: Dieb Enterprises Inc.
• $150,000 to $350,000: David J. Stansfield D.O. LLC, Excel Temporary Service, Jefferson Franklin Community Action Corp., Kramer, Hand, Buchholz and Partney, Lin-Kris Pharmacy Inc., Michael D. Lowry P.C., Mid-America Vulcanizing Inc., Thurman, Howard, Weber, Senkel and Norrick.
• Below $150,000: 154 loans for $5,450,425.
• $350,000 to $1 million: Duneman Demolition Inc., Fogarty Services Inc.
• $150,000 to $350,000: Baker Landscaping and Concrete LLC, Gil Schroeder Sod Sales Inc., Intermodel Drayage Services Inc., Open Door Animal Sanctuary.
• Below $150,000: 109 loans for $3,490,169.
• $350,000 to $1 million: AAA Zoellner Materials Inc., Accurate Industrial Products, Arnold Ready-Mix Corp., H.W. Herrell Distributing Co., Imperial Animal Hospital LLC, Mid-America Electric Inc.
• $150,000 to $350,000: Antonia Fabricators Inc., Born Electric Inc., Collins Contracting LLC, Complete Roofing Co. Inc., DKTR Holdings, LLC, Gianino’s Pasta LLC, Glenlo Enterprises Inc., J and R. Queens Inc., John’s Auto Body and Paint Inc., MRC I, LLC, O Lee LLC, Peoria Contract Services LLC, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Taylor Packaging Corp., TSAT Inc.
• Below $150,000: 219 loans for $6,272,550.
• Below $150,000: 5 loans for $113,689.
• $150,000 to $350,000: Redemptorist Fathers, St. Clement Health Care Center.
• $350,000 to $1 million: Pony Bird Inc.
• Below $150,000: 2 loans for $77,200.
• Below $150,000: 178 loans for $7,292,670 (includes businesses in Jefferson, Franklin and St. Louis counties).
• $2 million to $5 million: Thomas Industrial Coatings Inc.
• $1 million to $2 million: Vance Holdings Inc.
• $350,000 to $1 million: CLIC Inc., Dunn’s Sporting Goods Co. Inc, Heizer Aerospace Inc., Jeshort Inc., Midwest Gun Works Inc., Thomas Equipment and Management Inc.
• $150,000 to $350,000: American Rebar Inc., Dinges Drywall LLC, Kay Davis LLC, MCE Enterprises Inc. and R H CL, Midwest Motorcycle Supply Distribution Corp., Pingel Exchanger Service Inc., Victory Church.
• Below $150,000: 57 loans for $2,266,859.
• Below $150,000: 3 loans for $60,382.