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Lenoir-Rhyne University received more than $5 million from small business loan program

Lenoir-Rhyne University received more than $5 million from small business loan program

Only $5 for 5 months

Lenoir-Rhyne University received at least $5 million in loans from a federal program designed to help small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However. data released by the Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of the Treasury Monday said the money was not used to retain jobs.

Lenoir-Rhyne countered that depiction. Cory Butzin, a marketing communications specialist at the university, said Lenoir-Rhyne used the money to avoid furloughs or layoffs to its 478 employees.

The university was one of 22 businesses or organizations in Hickory to receive loans of at least $1 million from the Paycheck Protection Program.

The data did not disclose exact loan amounts but did include ranges. The university received loans in the range of $5-10 million, according to the data.

Funds through the program can be used for things other than payroll. The SBA website specifically lists paying mortgage interest, rent or utilities as other acceptable uses of funds.

Loans may also be forgiven if funds are used for those acceptable purposes and the organization receiving the loan maintains its workforce. Borrowers must devote at least 60 percent of the funding toward payroll in order for the loan to be forgiven, according to the SBA website.

Lenoir-Rhyne was one of only two places in Hickory to receive loans in that range. The other, Sherrill Furniture, used the funds to support 500 jobs, according to the data.

Two other businesses were listed as having no jobs retained through the program: JRL Management Inc. and Snyder Paper Corp.

More than 1,000 Hickory businesses have received funding through the program so far, but the names of only a little more than 200 of those businesses were revealed.

The SBA and Treasury Department released two data sets: one for loans under $150,000 and one for loans above that amount. Only organizations receiving more than $150,000 in loans were named in the data release.

The list of named recipients in Hickory ran the gamut from churches and car dealerships to law offices and medical practices.

Restaurants like the Snack Bar and Backstreets and nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley and Adult Life Programs received at least $150,000 from the program. Prominent local contractors like Neill Grading & Construction Co. and David E. Looper & Co. were also named.

OneH2, a manufacturer of hydrogen fuel equipment which gained attention in April when an explosion occurred at its building, was also identified as the recipient of between $350,000 and $1 million from the program.

To see the data and get more information about PPP and other federal relief programs, visit sba.gov and follow the “Coronavirus Relief Options” link under the Funding Programs tab.

The PPP will be open through Aug. 8.

Source: Data provided by the Small Business Administration

and U.S. Department of the Treasury

Source: Data provided by the Small Business Administration

and U.S. Department of the Treasury

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