Leading payment facilitator Square announced this week that, as of June 10, it has facilitated more than $820 million in Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans for more than 76,000 small businesses.
PPP loans were set up to help small businesses continue to pay workers during the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Small Business Administration will forgive the loans if employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the funds are used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
Square facilitated PPP loans through its Square Capital program. 60% of the PPP borrowers had never received a loan through Square Capital, the company said in a press release. The loan average is less than $11,000, and 97% of the company’s loans were under $50,000.
For Square Payroll customers, Square’s system was able to automatically complete parts of their applications using the monthly payroll data it already had on its system. Square Payroll customers submitted PPP applications through the platform at eight times the rate of customers who are not on the payroll program.
Through its payroll data, Square was able to see the impact of PPP loans on the businesses that received them. The company saw a 70% increase in businesses that were running payroll after they received their loans. The number of employees that were paid by businesses that received PPP loans nearly doubled after loan funds were disbursed.
“While our lending business has served Main Street small businesses for years, we knew that as our sellers and their communities were facing deep economic uncertainty, we could play a meaningful role in disbursing stimulus funds” said Jacqueline Reses, Square Capital Lead.
“In mere weeks, we were able to create an application that made it simple for business owners to complete the PPP application, knowing many Square sellers handle all elements of their business – including financial operations – themselves. The impact shows in our numbers: the average SBA loan for all of PPP is $113,000, while PPP loans through Square Capital are 1/10th that size.”
Square’s loan totals provide a snapshot of the types of businesses most affected by the economic crisis. Beauty and personal care businesses received the most total loans with 18,700 borrowers. Next were professional services, then healthcare and fitness. Food and drink businesses received the highest amounts, with an average loan of $19,800 – nearly twice as much as the average loan of all the Square Capital borrowers.
The company distributed loans to businesses in all 50 states, it said. They were distributed fairly evenly across type of region, with 34% distributed in rural areas, 26% in suburban areas, and 39% to urban businesses. 47% of the loans went to businesses located in zip codes where the average household income is less than $50,000.
In 2019, $2.3 billion in loans were originated through Square Capital. This means that, during the six week period Square was disclosing, the company processed 4.5 months’ worth of Square Capital loan volume.