Without a loan from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program, Central Virginia Health Services would not have been able to sustain its operations and keep all of its 391 employees, said CEO Paula Tomko.
“We felt it was really important for us to pursue this so that we could be available for primary care in these communities,” Tomko said.
More than 4,300 businesses and nonprofits in Central Virginia received PPP loans, according to data released this past week by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The released information shows that about 3,700 businesses and nonprofits in the greater Charlottesville area received loans of less than $150,000, while more than 630 businesses and nonprofits received loans of between $150,000 and $5 million.
For loans of $150,000 or more, the SBA data provides names of the recipients, but does not provide specific dollar amounts for each loan and instead provides a range — $5 million to $10 million; $2 million to $5 million; $1 million to $2 million; $350,000 to $1 million; and $150,000 to $350,000. No businesses with addresses in the area received more than $5 million.
The loans are forgivable as long as a majority of the proceeds are used to pay staff.
Central Virginia Health Services, which has administrative offices in New Canton and 17 health centers as far north as Fredericksburg and as far south as Brunswick County, received a loan of between $2 million and $5 million. Tomko declined to provide the exact loan amount.
“We would have had to furlough employees because we basically had to shut down our dental operations,” she said. “… We used our dental staff that we cross-trained to help with screening [for COVID-19]. It takes a lot longer to provide medical care now than it did before. But I think we were instrumental in managing cases from home and saying, ‘Yes, you might have it but you’re not having breathing difficulties, so don’t rush to the ER, we can manage you remotely.’”
About 20 businesses and nonprofits in the area received PPP funds of between $2 million and $5 million, according to the data. Those include Faulconer Construction Co., Tiger Fuel Co., Plow & Hearth, Silverchair, Wintergreen Resort, Apex Clean Energy, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Monticello) and the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative.
Melissa Gay, CVEC’s communications and member services manager, said the cooperative’s loan was for about $2.5 million and will allow it to pay its 118 employees, continue to meet members’ expectations and avoid any potential impacts on electric service or the group’s expansion of broadband.
“The funding allows us to continue the fiber construction project, which employs hundreds of contract personnel and continues to be built without interruption to deliver the essential service of rural broadband in a period when the COVID-19 issues of remote work and distance learning have increased the demand more than ever,” Gay said.
CVEC is in the process of sending a letter to more than 4,000 members who are in arrears, with residential arrears ranging from $100 to $3,000 and business customers’ past-due bills as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“We know that our members are making decisions in their day: Do I feed my family? Am I paying my bill, my mortgage, my car payment, my health insurance?” she said. “We know that they’re making those choices; we see that and we feel that. The cooling assistance through social services and some of the other community groups will help to offset those [past-due bills], and we want to encourage any of our members, or anyone, that they can call 211 and that will tell you the community resources in your area.”
Gay said CVEC is working to set up payment plans for customers who need assistance. Currently, there is a state moratorium on utility disconnections due to the pandemic. It initially was set to expire June 15, but has been extended to the end of August.
Many of the private schools in the area received PPP funds. They include St. Anne’s-Belfield, which got between $2 million and $5 million, and Fork Union Military Academy, which received between $1 million and $2 million.
Restaurants, breweries and wineries also received the loans, according to the data. They include Three Notch’d Brewing Co., Starr Hill Brewery and Blue Mountain Brewery, which each got between $350,000 and $1 million.
Three Notch’d Brewing President Scott Roth said the company’s loan was for between $700,000 and $800,000, and that it allowed the business to reopen two of its four locations that had closed due to the pandemic and start rehiring employees whom it had laid off.
“Our main focus for the use of the PPP was payroll and rent, and because we have four different locations, it was nice for us to be able to bring a lot of those people back in,” Roth said.
The data may not be entirely accurate, as some business owners have told other news outlets that they did not accept a loan or did not apply and were still included in the released data.
Under the “Jobs Retained” column in the SBA data, about 1,230 area businesses and organizations have zero jobs listed, and hundreds of other listings are blank.
Three Notch’d has zero jobs retained listed, but Roth said that is wrong.
“We are now back to maybe two-thirds, a little bit more than two-thirds, of our original number of employees,” he said.
A majority of area businesses did not specify the race or ethnicity of its owners, and the SBA said that 75% of all PPP loans did not include any demographic information because it was not provided by the applicant. The only local entity that received a loan greater than $150,000 that had marked “Black or African American” under the category was May 11, 1991 Inc., which got between $350,000 and $1 million.
According to Virginia State Corporation Commission information, Dave Matthews is listed as the president of May 11, 1991 Inc., while bandmates Carter Beauford and Stefan Lessard and manager Coran Capshaw are listed as vice presidents. The corporation retained 37 jobs, according to the SBA data.
Capshaw’s Red Light Management received a loan of between $2 million and $5 million, and retained 287 jobs, according to the data.
Multiple religious, grantmaking, civic and professional organizations also received loans, including the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation and the UVa Alumni Association, which each received between $1 million and $2 million, according to the data.
The Darden School Foundation is an independent, nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation that has about 80 employees, the foundation said in a statement. Typically, the foundation covers its operating costs with annual revenue generated through its executive education, hospitality businesses and philanthropy.
“The pandemic caused the mandatory closure of the Darden Grounds and inn in Charlottesville and UVa Darden DC Metro in Rosslyn, Virginia, which greatly affected foundation operations,” the statement said. “The PPP loan received was used in fiscal year 2020 to help cover payroll and to protect jobs, which was the intention of Congress and the CARES Act.”
The Alumni Association, also a nonprofit, said in a statement that it lost multiple vital revenue streams, including reunion events; the disruption and temporary suspension of membership solicitations; delay and uncertainty around fundraising activities for its second-largest solicitation of the year; and unknown effects of the economic impact on service fee revenue, among other things.
“ [The PPP loan] has helped us retain and protect employees, including part-time student interns, while continuing to support the university and alumni through our digital and print communications, alumni engagement and records management, career counseling and employment networking connections for students and alumni, admissions counseling, gift processing services and many other programs and services valued by alumni and the university. Although short-term in duration, the loan allows the association to manage resources to support our long-term existence and operations,” it said in the statement.