Lawyers Have Received Most PPP Loans In Louisiana. No. 2: Full-Service Restaurants

Jul 29, 2020

Law offices, full-service restaurants and doctor’s offices pulled in the most loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) so far, according to an analysis of the data by New Orleans Public Radio and WRKF.

Insurance agencies and religious organizations round out the state’s top five for the overall number of loans issued to industries through the program.

Established by Congress as part of the $2 trillion C.A.R.E.S. Act in early April, the program was designed to send money, in the form of forgivable loans, to businesses to help keep employees on their payrolls. Each loan is completely forgiven by lenders if employers spend 60 percent or more of it on payroll, according to the terms of the program.

To date, the program has paid out $519.8 trillion to U.S. businesses, with an average loan amount of $103,589, according to the latest data from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The latest data is available on the SBA website.

Louisiana businesses have received at least $37.5 billion through the program, across hundreds of industries.

The chart above shows the top 10 industries receiving loans through the program in the state, painting a clear picture of where the bulk of the program’s money went. It’s listed two ways: by the total number of loans granted, and by the overall amount received.

The way the data is organized makes it impossible to say for certain which industries got the most. For some businesses — those that received less than $150,000 — the exact dollar amounts are listed. But for businesses that received more than $150,000, the federal government only provides a range for the loan amount. For this analysis we used the lower end of that range.

According to the data, lawyers and restaurants were the most successful at pulling in money through the program. Lawyers take the top spot by number of loans received, and rank second in overall money. Restaurants received fewer loans than lawyers, but have received the most money overall in the state so far.

Religious organizations are also noticeably high on both lists, ranking fourth for the amount received, and fifth for the overall number received. Plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractors also received a large number of loans, ranking tenth on the list, but got significantly less money. That industry ranks 31st in overall money received.