Updated: Jul 8, 2020
The Small Business Administration (SBA) gave between $150,000 and $10 million to 3,345 home centers, hardware stores, lumberyards, and other building material dealers as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), data analysis by Webb Analytics finds.
Collectively, those companies received between $1.03 billion and $2.54 billion to protect more than 135,000 jobs and pay bills as the COVID-19 pandemic began to ravage the U.S. economy. Six companies received between $5 million and $10 million, 77 got $2 million to $5 million each, 195 received $1 million to $2 million, 950 got $350,000 to $1 million, and 2,117 firms were given between $150,000 and $350,000 apiece.
These numbers, released July 6, represent the PPP funds paid to companies in three categories under the North American Industry Categorization System (NAICS): home centers, hardware stores, and "other" building material dealers--a category that includes lumberyards as well as many other types of building material suppliers. The SBA database included the NAICS code of each recipient.
Webb Analytics pulled these numbers from an enormous SBA database listing all 660,000 businesses that received at least $150,000 via the PPP program. That 660,000 represents about 13.5% of all PPP recipients, SBA said in a news release. More than 4.2 million other companies received less than $150,000 each. LBM operations no doubt are part of that under-$150,000 cohort, but the SBA declined to identify them. A total of $521 billion was dispersed, and the average payout overall was just under $107,000.
PPP, part of a federal economic stimulus package passed this spring, was set up primarily to help businesses with fewer than 500 employees keep those workers on the payroll. One key benefit of PPP was that, while officially a loan, the money wouldn't have to be repaid if a company kept its workers on the payroll through a certain date--originally, eight weeks from when the loan was granted.
Unlike millions of other businesses that were shut down or lost sales traffic, most LBM companies report being quite busy this spring and early summer, in part because most states regarded their businesses and the construction industry in general as essential and thus not subject to lockdowns. That made it easy for dealers that received PPP loans to keep workers on the payroll and thus get that loan forgiven when the end point was reached.
The spreadsheet below contains the LBM part of the big-dollar recipients list. Click here to access the SBA's full list as well as data on unnamed recipients that received less than $150,000 each.