About 1,800 Skagit County businesses and nonprofits received federal loans to help them cover expenses and pay employees during the pandemic, with a majority of funds reaching smaller to medium-size businesses, according to data released by the Small Business Administration this month.

The loans helped retain a total of 12,355 jobs in Skagit County, according to an analysis of the data.

Payment Protection Program loans of $150,000 or more went to 248 Skagit entities, but the vast majority of recipients received loans under $150,000.

Out of 1,560 Skagit businesses approved for loans under $150,000, about 70% received loans of $50,000 or less, according to the data. In that category, 60 loans went to restaurants and 57 to salons and barbershops.

About 20 businesses received loans over $1 million, with the largest going to manufacturing and construction firms, health care facilities, car dealerships and businesses in maritime and transportation industries.

The single largest loans for Skagit businesses were between $5 million and $10 million (the data gives a range) and went to Janicki Industries and Interest Construction, funds that retained a combined total of 750 jobs, according to the data.

Nonprofits including Community Action of Skagit County and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Skagit County also received PPP loans.

The $350 billion originally allocated by Congress for the PPP program ran out in less than two weeks due to high demand.

About $132 billion in the second round of funding remains for small businesses as of July 10, according to the SBA. The deadline to apply is Aug. 8.

Cindy Brooks, certified business advisor at the Small Business Development Center in Mount Vernon, said some approved for loans returned the funds to help others in the business community.

She said businesses were most concerned with the original eight-week timeline to spend the funds.

Some businesses raised concerns about taking the loans while still closed or operating at limited capacity.

Businesses now have an extension — up to 24 weeks — to use the loan funds.

— Reporter Jacqueline Allison: jallison@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2145, Twitter: @Jacqueline_SVH

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