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Lawyers Have Received Most PPP Loans In Louisiana. No. 2: Full-Service Restaurants

Law offices have received the greatest number of PPP loans of any industry in the state. According to federal data, Morris Bart LLC received a loan amount between $2 million and $5 million.
Travis Lux
/
WWNO
Law offices have received the greatest number of PPP loans of any industry in the state. According to federal data, Morris Bart LLC received a loan amount between $2 million and $5 million.

Law offices, full-service restaurants and doctor’s offices pulled in the most loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) so far, according to an analysis of the data by New Orleans Public Radio and WRKF.

Insurance agencies and religious organizations round out the state’s top five for the overall number of loans issued to industries through the program.

Established by Congress as part of the $2 trillion C.A.R.E.S. Act in early April, the program was designed to send money, in the form of forgivable loans, to businesses to help keep employees on their payrolls. Each loan is completely forgiven by lenders if employers spend 60 percent or more of it on payroll, according to the terms of the program.

To date, the program has paid out $519.8 trillion to U.S. businesses, with an average loan amount of $103,589, according to the latest data from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The latest data is available on the SBA website.

Louisiana businesses have received at least $37.5 billion through the program, across hundreds of industries.

The chart above shows the top 10 industries receiving loans through the program in the state, painting a clear picture of where the bulk of the program’s money went. It’s listed two ways: by the total number of loans granted, and by the overall amount received.

The way the data is organized makes it impossible to say for certain which industries got the most. For some businesses — those that received less than $150,000 — the exact dollar amounts are listed. But for businesses that received more than $150,000, the federal government only provides a range for the loan amount. For this analysis we used the lower end of that range.

According to the data, lawyers and restaurants were the most successful at pulling in money through the program. Lawyers take the top spot by number of loans received, and rank second in overall money. Restaurants received fewer loans than lawyers, but have received the most money overall in the state so far.

Religious organizations are also noticeably high on both lists, ranking fourth for the amount received, and fifth for the overall number received. Plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractors also received a large number of loans, ranking tenth on the list, but got significantly less money. That industry ranks 31st in overall money received.

As Coastal Reporter, Travis Lux covers flood protection, coastal restoration, infrastructure, the energy and seafood industries, and the environment. In this role he's reported on everything from pipeline protests in the Atchafalaya swamp, to how shrimpers cope with low prices. He had a big hand in producing the series, New Orleans: Ready Or Not?, which examined how prepared New Orleans is for a future with more extreme weather. In 2017, Travis co-produced two episodes of TriPod: New Orleans at 300 examining New Orleans' historic efforts at flood protection. One episode, NOLA vs Nature: The Other Biggest Flood in New Orleans History, was recognized with awards from the Public Radio News Directors and the New Orleans Press Club. His stories often find a wider audience on national programs, too, like NPR's Morning Edition, WBUR's Here and Now, and WHYY's The Pulse.
Patrick Madden joined WWNO in 2019 as its first-ever Regional News Director, overseeing news reporting at WWNO, as well as our partner station WRKF Baton Rouge. Madden also serves as one of the hosts of Louisiana Considered, and co-hosts Friday's Politics Roundtable on Louisiana Considered with Stephanie Grace, columnist for The Times-Picayune | The Advocate.

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