By Ronnie Miles, NGCOA Director of Advocacy
On July 7, the Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, released Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Level Data, divided into five loan amount categories: less than $150K, $150K to $350K, $350K to $1M, $1M to $2M, and $2M to $5M.
The SBA said that through June 30, 4.9 million loans had been approved, totaling about $521 Billion. Unlike other federal disaster relief programs in the past, the golf industry was able to participate in the PPP, which was a key part of the CARES Act.
The golf industry was reported under NAICS code 173910 - Golf Courses and Country Clubs. We had 6,212 loans which represented less than 1% of the total loans issued. 75% of golf industry loans were less than $150K, with 15% of those loans falling between $350K and $1M. The report only provided loan ranges; our industry's total loan amounts ranged from $667M to $1.2B. The average loan received in the "less than $150K" category was $59K.
A major purpose of the PPP was to provide employers a financial incentive to retain their workers. For those workers who were unable to return to work, the CARES Act provided qualified individuals with a $600 per week federal unemployment subsidy, and these enabled the retention of more than 155,000 employees on active payroll. This saved state and federal agencies' unemployment insurance (UI) benefits totaling over $159K per week. If these workers were retained for the entire eight weeks targeted by the PPP program, the total UI benefits savings exceeded $1.2B.
Some of the smallest loans were made to seasonal operators. The initial rollout and guidelines issued for the PPP loans were not favorable to these operators who had not reopened or were just in the process. Unfortunately, these owners were unable to reapply when they expanded the program, resulting in many operators forced to not rehire employees as they reopened or terminate those who could not be reassigned.
Even as these numbers appear positive, we must realize that approximately 40% of our businesses failed to participate in the program, mainly due to being ineligible to meet the PPP loan criteria. C7 clubs and municipal facilities were ineligible; the remaining businesses were golf entities that exceeded the size criteria or simply chose to not participate in the program.
NGCOA and our allied associations are currently lobbying for another round of similar loans as part of the next federal stimulus package. This effort will target relief for 501(c)(6) organizations, C7 clubs, and other small and seasonal operators by providing an opportunity to reapply for additional relief. We will continue to update our owners and operators as Congress deliberates this important issue and encourage you to let your Representative or Senator know how important this is to your business.
Ronnie Miles is the Director of Advocacy for the National Golf Course Owners Association. He can be reached for comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.