EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) -- The deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was extended just days before the United States Treasury released the names of some of the businesses benefiting from the loans.
The program, created to ease the burden of unemployment as the pandemic forced shutdowns across the nation, has already distributed billions of dollars.
Director of UW Eau Claire's Small Business Development Center Luke Kempen calls the program an "unprecedented approach."
"When you look at $659 billion being distributed out to hundreds of thousands of businesses throughout the nation, in a short amount of time, the SBA, in hindsight, did a wonderful job," Kemp said.
Small Business Development Councils across the country are the boots on the ground to help local businesses apply for the forgivable loans.
"75% of the PPP loan money needed to be used for payroll, and payroll costs and the other 25% could be used for paying interest, rent, or utility costs," Kempen said.
Of the dollars distributed so far, 75% went to about 15% of all the businesses that applied.
"That means that about 25% of the dollars distributed was made to about 85% of the businesses that applied," Kempen explained.
Since the 15% equals the larger amount of money, only the names of businesses with loans of $150,000 or more were made available to the public.
"There are groups and there are people that are interested in understanding where their taxpayer money is going," Kemp said of the decision to name the businesses.
"On one hand, you have that, and on the other hand, you have businesses who want to remain private with their businesses actives and the amount of money that they received and things like that. I think the [Small Bussiness Association] struck a happy medium."
Some of the local businesses approved to get loans through the PPP include Market & Johnson and Northland Restaurant Group, which both received between 5 and 10 million dollars.
Others, like the Grace Lutheran Foundation, Indianhead Foodservice Distribution and Oakleaf Clinic, received between 2 and 5 million dollars.
Congress voted to extend the deadline for the PPP to Aug. 8 to allow more businesses to take advantage of the $135 Billion that remain in the fund.
A list of all of the businesses in the country that have received loans greater than $150,000 is available to the public on the United State's Treasury website.
See below for a breakdown of statistics of the PPP.