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Health care, restaurant, tech companies among top PPP recipients in Arizona

Arizona businesses got up to $8.6 billion dollars in Paycheck Protection Program loans from the federal government due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but some businesses got far more money than others, specifically chain restaurants, tech companies, educational institutions and medical companies.

Over 85,000 loans were doled out to Arizona businesses as part of a $2 trillion coronavirus aid package approved by Congress in March as companies and healthcare workers began to grapple with the realities of COVID-19.

The U.S. Small Business Administration initially refused to reveal the names of the businesses that received the loans, but mounting legal pressure from multiple media outlets led to a partial release of the data in July. And a recent ruling by a federal judge rejecting the SBA’s argument that releasing loan totals would indirectly expose private companies’ payroll information opened the door for the release of the remaining data.

The new data shines light on which companies and industries have gotten the PPP loans since March. The data show that 11 companies in Arizona have received $10 million, the largest amount available under the program.

Among those 11 companies are four healthcare companies, one that provides meals to K-12 schools, the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, a recycling center, a company that focuses on call centers, a trucking company, P.F. Chang’s and a mortgage company.

The only nonprofit to receive the full $10 million in PPP funds was the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, which serves the entire Navajo Nation and is based out of Fort Defiance.

Two of the health care companies that received $10 million are primarily focused on treating and assessing people’s medical needs. A Team Select Company is focused on in-home care, long-term adult and pediatric care and mobile services for people with certain conditions. The company has locations across the country.

Tucson-based Arizona Community Physicians, which has 50 locations across the state, also received $10 million.

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Other healthcare companies such as SimonMed Imaging, which conducts a variety of scans and tests, also received the maximum amount. Health Services Advisory Group, a company that provides analytical information and support to healthcare providers and patients received the maximum amount as well.

P.F. Chang’s restaurant, which was founded in Arizona in 1993, is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, and received the maximum amount in March. Seven months later in October, 5,800 employees were laid off and many more had their hours slashed by the company, which stated it is working on opening up new to-go concepts and other restaurants in the coming months.

Scottsdale-based Nextiva, which focuses primarily on voice-over-internet-protocol communication and whose clients include Burger King and the NBA, received $10 million in PPP funds for 500 employees. The company boasts it is used by over 150,000 companies and its revenue for 2019 was $125 million.

On Q Financial, a mortgage company with offices throughout the greater Phoenix area, also received the maximum amount.

The average loan was for $101,636, two dollars less than Sierra Vista landscaping company Cochise Stone borrowed in late April to pay employee costs. The median amount was $24,333, an amount borrowed by both a Queen Creek dentist’s office and a Florence-based cleaning company.

Businesses that spend up to 60% of the loan on payroll will not have to repay their PPP loans. In order to qualify for a second loan, businesses must show a gross income reduction of up to 50% compared to the first or second quarter of 2019. Originally, businesses had to spend up to 75% of the loan on payroll but the government later relaxed those requirements. Businesses not in operation by Feb. 15, 2020 were not eligible for a loan.

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