By Kati Weis

DENVER (CBS4) – There are more than 13,000 companies in Colorado that received Paycheck Protection Program – or PPP – loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration. According to data released by the SBA, 93 companies in Colorado received between $5 million to $10 million in PPP loans.

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But some of those companies reported retaining 0 jobs, including Fiore and Sons, a contracting company based in Denver, and Lerch Bates, an international elevator consulting company based in Englewood. While those companies didn’t return requests for comment, the SBA says in order to qualify for a PPP loan, companies didn’t need to provide how many employees their loan would help. The SBA also said just because a company is listed as having received a loan doesn’t mean it complied with program rules. Companies will have to provide a number of jobs retained in order to apply for loan forgiveness, the SBA said.

More than 1,000 companies receiving loans of $150,000 or more are listed as having retained 0 jobs in the SBA data.

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According to SBA data, the 93 biggest earners didn’t retain the most jobs in the state. Instead, companies that received loans between only $350,000 to $1 million retained the most jobs, 5 times more jobs than all of the companies that received the $5 million or more loans. There were 3,970 companies that received loans between $350,000 to $1 million, and those 3,970 companies reported retaining 176,347 jobs. Conversely, there were 93 companies that received loans between $5 million to $10 million, and those 93 companies combined reported retaining 33,881 jobs.

Some of the top earners in Colorado also received more than one PPP loan for different entities in the company. For example, Kona Grill Acquisition, LLC was recently bough out by The One Group, LLC, but SBA data shows both business names each received loans between $5 million to $10 million. Mac Acquisition, which owns Romano’s Macaroni Grill, lists on its website that Sullivan’s Holdings is its subsidiary company, yet both companies each received loans between $5 million to $10 million.

CBS4 reached out to those companies for comment, but has not heard back.

The SBA says businesses can be approved for PPP loans on an honor system by self-certifying they qualify, and all loans of more than $2 million will be reviewed by the SBA to ensure companies played by the rules.

Some other interesting companies in the Denver Metro who received some of the biggest loans are Alvarado Concepts, which owns several Taco Bell locations in Colorado, and its construction side of the company completed projects for the Denver Botanical Gardens and Denver Convention Center, as well as Inspirato, a luxury travel company, and Bad Daddy’s International, which owns the famous burger chain and Good Times Burgers.

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A spokesperson for Bad Daddy’s said the pandemic forced the company to lay off several employees and the PPP loans helped the company to rehire several of its workers.

The SBA said the PPP loans can be fully forgiven if they are used for payroll, rent and utilities, or interest on mortgages. The agency said it’s already approved 4.9 million loans nationally totaling more than $521 billion.

The SBA said the program has about $132 billion in funding remaining. The deadline to apply has been extended to August 8. Click here to apply.

To see the entire PPP loan data, click here.


Kati Weis