Dozens of Pa. charter schools among recipients of federal small business aid

Many Pennsylvania businesses received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program. (Christopher Dolan/The Times-Tribune via AP)

Many Pennsylvania businesses received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program. (Christopher Dolan/The Times-Tribune via AP)

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Hershey Creamery Co. The Philadelphia Museum of Art. Auto dealerships owned by Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly. The C.F. Martin Guitar Factory. Several prominent charter schools.

Those are some of the 206 organizations in Pennsylvania that have received loans of upwards of $5 million from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to data released Monday by the federal Small Business Administration.

About 165,000 organizations in the state have received PPP funding so far, totalling $20.7 billion — making Pennsylvania one of the top users of the loan program.

All together, Pennsylvania loan recipients reported 1.8 million “jobs retained” due to the money, though the data was self-reported and many organizations didn’t list any number at all.

Click through to see which Pa. companies got the most PPP loan money.

Businesses in New Jersey secured 147,000 loans worth $17.2 billion, while Delaware businesses received about 12,500 loans totalling $1.2 billion.

About 85% of Pennsylvania’s PPP loans were worth $150,000 or less. Nationwide, the average loan size was about $100,000, but loans of $150,000 or more account for about 75% of the PPP’s total funding.

The data does not include exactly how much money each organization received. Instead, they are bracketed into six different ranges.

For organizations that received more than $150,000, the data released Monday includes their name, address, how many jobs they claimed to have retained, and the lending bank. The data was anonymized for those who received smaller loans.

The PPP did not require demographic data such as race and gender to be listed, and the vast majority of organizations did not report it. Among those that did, however, the loan recipients were dominated by white men.

Dozens of Pennsylvania charter schools received PPP loans, including: Pa. Leadership and Pa. Virtual cyber charter schools; an organization linked to Chester Community Charter School; I-Lead; KIPP; Esperanza; and Franklin Towne.

Some have criticized charters for accepting small-business relief aid while at the same time enjoying tax-free status and continued revenue from state and local taxes passed to them via school districts.

After strong initial demand, interest in the PPP has slowed significantly in recent months, due to officials moving to largely exclude public companies that could access capital elsewhere and many businesses finding that the program’s requirements were too onerous for the loan to be worth it.

Congress recently extended the deadline to apply for the program to Aug. 8. It has about $130 billion left to distribute.

Disclosure: WHYY received a loan through the Payroll Protection Program.

Correction: A previous version of this article said Mastery Charter Schools received small business aid for its Pa. charter schools. It only received a PPP loan for its charters based in Camden, New Jersey.

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