Five Wilkes County companies received federal Paycheck Protection Program loans of between $1 million and $2 million, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Also in Wilkes, another 15 PPP loans ranging from $350,000 to $1 million were awarded, 38 PPP loans from $150,000 to $350,000 were approved and about 390 PPP loans for varying amounts up to $149,000 were made.

The loans were made to help companies and nonprofits survive and retain jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. They are forgivable if borrowers use the bulk of the money to rehire workers on the same salaries as before the pandemic, or make “good faith” efforts to do so. If not, the fee-free, unsecured two- and five-year loans carry a 1% annual interest rate.

The SBA report indicated that loans of $150,000 or more resulted in 2,027 jobs being retained in Wilkes.

The loans of $1 million to $2 million in Wilkes and the jobs it allowed each to retain were Wilkesboro-based Carolina West Wireless Inc. (125); Roaring River-based Peerless Surgical Inc. (67); Wilkesboro-based Wilkes Telephone Membership Corp. (77); and Gardner Glass Products Inc. (235) and Way-To-Go Merchandising and Staffing LLC (250), both in North Wilkesboro. The Wilkes Telephone Membership loan was approved June 30 and the other four were approved in April.

The SBA reported said 15 businesses in Wilkes received PPP loans ranging from $350,000 to $1 million, including Carolina Precision Fibers SPV LLC in Ronda. In North Wilkesboro, they were Window World Inc., Associated Heating and Air Conditioning Inc., Huffbo LLC, InfusionPoints LLC, Life Alliance LLC and Mamco Wilkes LLC. In Wilkesboro, they were High Country Lumber and Mulch LLC, Martin Roofing Services Inc., Riverstreet Management Services LLC, Steve C. Davis Inc., Suncrest Farms Country Ham Inc. and Wilcox Marketing Inc.

Wilkes Vocational Services was the only nonprofit in Wilkes to receive a PPP loan greater than $350,000.

A total of 38 Wilkes corporations received PPP loans in the $150,000-$350,000 range. Wilkes Dental Consortium, Inc., Millers Creek Baptist Church Inc. and Wilkes Developmental Day School Inc. were the only nonprofits that received loans between $150,000 and $350,000.

About 390 businesses in Wilkes received PPP loans of up to $150,000. These were not listed by name in the SBA data. The largest Wilkes loan in this category was $146,600 to a professional association based in Wilkesboro that retained 11 jobs. The least was $550 to a Ronda-based limited liability company with no retained jobs listed.

The SBA report said banks issuing loans of $150,000 or more to Wilkes corporations were CoBank ACB, Skyline National Bank, Surrey Bank & Trust, Truist Bank, First National Bank of Pennsylvania, South State Bank National Association, Ally Bank, American National Bank and Trust Co., First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co., Bank Nine Five, United Bank, First Horizon Bank, CapStar Bank and Peoples Bank.

The SBA reported that loans helped support more than 50 million jobs nationwide. The average loan size was $107,000, although loans as much as $10 million were possible.

Not included in the data is the roughly $30 billion in loans returned by companies that realized they weren’t eligible, worried about meeting the conditions to make the loans forgivable or were concerned by public outcry about big firms getting funds. Only names of borrowers who took out more than $150,000 were released.

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