Small Business Administration’s newly released data reveals that taxpayers paid more than $22 billion to more than 200,000 Illinois businesses in COVID-19 relief funds. The fund helped retained more than 2.1 million jobs. Through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, more than 27,400 business got at least $150,000.
If most of the money was used to retain employees, the loans were turned into grants. According to SBA documents, more than 2.1 million jobs were retained in Illinois. The taxpayers are stuck with the bill, according to OpenTheBooks.com founder Adam Andrzejewski. His website has a map that breaks down the businesses that got more than $1 million.
“It means a big debt that we’re going to be paying off for generations,” Andrzejewski said. “Our children and children’s children are going to paying off this coronavirus bailout to many businesses who actually didn’t need the money but saw an opportunity to stick their hand in the honey pot and the folks that get stuck at the end of the day is the American taxpayer.”
More than $520 billion across 4.8 million were approved. $106,000 was the average loan size. The federal government claimed the money supported more than 51 million jobs across the country. Health care and social assistance, professional, scientific and technical services, construction, manufacturing and accommodation, and foodservice businesses got most of the money.
The documents released this week revealed that in Illinois, more than 202,000 businesses were listed. The businesses that got less than $150,000 were kept anonymous, however, some location information was available. On the list, 357 Freeport businesses are listed. The businesses that got more than $150,000 are also on the list that includes 54 Freeport businesses.