Upper Valley employers received millions from federal virus loan program

Valley News Business Writer
Published: 7/7/2020 10:00:44 PM
Modified: 7/7/2020 10:00:38 PM

Hundreds of Upper Valley employers — many of them familiar names — received aid from the federal government totaling tens of millions in dollars to cover their payroll costs during the pandemic, according to a list of recipients released by the U.S. Department of Treasury this week.

The list includes a who’s who of Upper Valley employers, ranging from manufacturer GW Plastics and Hanover Co-op at the top to Wilson Tire in Lebanon and Dan & Whit’s in Norwich at the lower end.

Also included are scores of nonprofits such as medical providers Valley Regional Hospital and Cottage Hospital, social service agencies Twin Pines Housing and Clara Martin Center, and educational institutions such as Colby-Sawyer College, The Sharon Academy and Thetford Academy.

Newspapers of New England, the Concord-based owner of the Valley News and several other publications in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, also received federal money.

The financial aid, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, offered $349 billion in loans to employers with 500 or fewer workers to help cover payroll and other expenses during the pandemic. The initial timeline to use the money was eight weeks, though that timeline has since been extended to 24 weeks. Employers do not have to repay the loans so long as they do not lay off workers and use the money for appropriate expenses.

Many employers were aided in the process to access funding by Upper Valley banks Mascoma Bank, Ledyard National Bank, Claremont Savings Bank and Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank, which ordered staffers to work during the weekends to shepherd applications through the SBA.

The 500-or-fewer employee threshold made some large employers ineligible for the PPP program, such as Dartmouth College, Dartmouth-Hitchcock hospital, and plasma jet equipment manufacturer Hypertherm.

A total of 312 Upper Valley employers received PPP loans in the ranges listed.

The U.S. Treasury’s release of PPP recipients doesn’t list specific dollar amounts given to each business, only ranges — $150,000-$1 million, $1 million-$2 million, $2 million-$5 million, and $5 million-$10 million. The names of recipients who received $150,000 or less were not disclosed.

GW Plastics, which has manufacturing facilities in both Bethel and Royalton, was in the $5 million-$10 million range, according to the Treasury department, the largest amount of any employer in the Upper Valley.

Fifteen employers received amounts between $2 million and $5 million, including Valley Regional Hospital (339 employees), Concord Coach Lines (owner of Dartmouth Coach, 208), Hanover Co-op (329), Kendal at Hanover (276), Geokon (124), DuBois & King (120), Colby-Sawyer College (320), Resource Systems Group (124), Vermont Law School (225), Woodstock Inn & Resort (389), Cottage Hospital (328) and Newspapers of New England (272).

Twenty employers received amounts between $1 million and $2 million, including ARC Mechanical Contractors (71 employees), Cardigan Mountain School (123), North Country Smokehouse (107), Keene Medical Products (133), Global Rescue (60), North Hartland Tool Corp. (80), and Clara Martin Center (181).

Eighty-eight employers received amounts between $350,000 and $1 million, including Farm-Way (40 employees), T. Copeland & Sons (95), Pompanoosuc Mills (115), Britton Lumber (53), Aloha Foundation (488), Great Eastern Radio (32), Molly’s Restaurant (76), FreshAir Sensor (28), Lebanon Ford (40), Crossroads Academy (35), Blaktop (38), Golf & Ski Warehouse (77), Woodstock Farmers Market (100) and Trumbull-Nelson (41).

One hundred and eighty-six employers received amounts between $150,000 to $350,000, including Oakes Bros. (24 employees), Upper Valley Land Trust (12), Key Foreign Motors of Lebanon (26), Wilson Tire (24), Dowd’s Country Inn (34), VINS (20), Freedom Foods (20), West Lebanon Feed & Supply (26), Datamann (26) and Twin Pines Housing Trust (20).

The application process for small businesses to tap the PPP fund, which has about $129 billion remaining, initially closed June 30. But last week President Donald Trump signed a bill to reopen and extend the deadline five weeks to Aug. 8.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.

View the data: Click here to view a spreadsheet of PPP recipients in the Twin States.

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