Less than a month after passing the CARES Act, small businesses have exhausted the federal government’s $350 billion fund to soften economic shocks.

And who came out on top? According to one analysis, it’s Nebraska.

The 18,565 approved loans totaling $2.7 billion dollars cover three quarters of the state’s payroll for businesses with less than 500 employees. The money comes from the Payment Protection Program which gives employers forgivable loans to keep employees working and help with business expenses.

Neighboring states like North Dakota, South Dakota and Kansas ranked similarly to Nebraska, according to 2019 payroll analysis from financial and investment research firm Evercore ISI. States like California and New York received as much as nine times Nebraska’s amount. However, those totals covered less than a quarter of their small business payrolls.

As the federal government looks to refill the depleted fund, politicians have taken note of the disparity in received funds.


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Chris Bowling

Chris has worked for The Reader since January 2020. As an investigative reporter and news editor he’s taken deep dives into topics such as police transparency, affordable housing and COVID-19. Originally...

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