Loans through the Federal Salary Protection Program helped maintain over 4,400 jobs in Tuolumne County and prevent up to 20% more unemployment, according to Cole Przybyla, county’s director of innovation and business assistance. .
Przybyla shared the data with the County Supervisory Council on Tuesday during a presentation of his first year in the position created to replace the defunct Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority.
County businesses received 634 loans totaling approximately $ 32 million and $ 48 million from the program that was created through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act approved by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in late March.
Companies are expected to report how the money will be used, which is what Przybyla has used to determine that 4,452 jobs have been kept as a result of the loans. Businesses don’t have to repay loans if they use most of the money to pay their workers.
Przybyla said economic experts estimated that the county unemployment rate could have reached 37% in April without the loans, but the effective rate turned out to be 17.3%.
“This is a pretty scary statistic for me,” he said.
Nearly $ 22 million of all loans to businesses in the county were $ 150,000 each or less, with full-service restaurants accounting for around 26% of that.
Loans greater than $ 150,000 have been carried over in ranges, so the exact total amount cannot be determined. Przybyla said that about 40 percent of all county loans went to small businesses.
Several supervisors noted how the data made them concerned about the number of small businesses in the county that will struggle depending on the duration of the pandemic, especially without further federal support.