Keizertimes/Andrew Jackson

Keizer-based businesses retained 1,810 jobs with at least $12.5 million in paycheck protection loans that were part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

After haggling with legislators and media organizations over whether to release information showing how the federal program disbursed money in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Treasury Department began releasing some of the information this week. Even with full disclosure a lingering question, Keizer businesses reaped substantial windfalls the data shows. 

The loan data is divided into two sets: loans up to $150,000, which have detailed amounts, and loans more than $350,000, in which only amount ranges are supplied. 

The vast proportion of the payroll protection loans went to a small number of businesses in Keizer, but also accounted for slightly more than half of jobs retained, 941. Twenty-eight businesses received between $5.2 million and $15.7 million in payroll loans. The short list includes the non-profits St. Edward Catholic Church and Assemblies of God Oregon District.

The two largest recipients of payroll loans, $1-2 million each, were Willamette Farm Labor Contracting, which lists a Keizer P.O. Box but operates in Salem, and Keizer Campus Operations, the owner of Avamere Court at Keizer. Willamette Farm Labor reported retaining 100 jobs with the money and Keizer Campus reported retention of 172 jobs. 

More than 230 businesses with Keizer addresses received loans of less than $150,000. The data offered by the Treasury Department regarding those loans does not identify businesses by name, but does identify the industries they operate within. It also includes the exact amounts of the payroll loans provided instead of ranges. 

The loans totaled roughly $7.46 million and helped retain 869 jobs. The largest number of jobs retained was 33 at a restaurant, but numerous recipients reported no jobs being retained or did not respond to the question. 

The top three loan recipients were a dentistry office ($137,700), an optometry office ($136,728.50) and a personnel services business ($120,000). The average loan amount was $31,600 per application and each loan helped retain an average of four jobs. 

The list of businesses receiving the loans up to $150,000 included seven non-profits, and limited liability corporations received the most loans (73 of the 235 applications).

JP Morgan Chase was the top loan processor for Keizer businesses. It handled 30 of the loans, US Bank processed 27 of the loans and MaPS Credit Union processed 26 loans. 

In Oregon, nearly 53,000 businesses received loans of $150,000 or less for a total of $1.8 billion in economic support. The average loan amount was $34,400. 

Across the country, businesses have received roughly $670 billion in bailout funds. 

To find out more about how payroll protection loans were used throughout the country, visit propublica.org. 

Disclosure: Wheatland Publishing Corp., the parent company of Keizertimes and its sister newspaper The Malheur Enterprise, was a recipient of a payroll protection loan that retained or restored pay for 15 employees between the two papers.