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Nearly 6,300 Texas companies received PPP loans of more than $1 million

The Parlour Salon in San Marcos closes during the COVID-19 pandemic. April 10, 2020.      Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune
The Parlour Salon in San Marcos closes during the COVID-19 pandemic. April 10, 2020. Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

Nearly 6,300 Texas-based companies received loans from the federal government valued at more than $1 million this spring, representing a major injection of government money into the state as the federal government was straining to keep the economy afloat.

Within that sum, nearly 400 Texas companies received loans within the range of $5 million to $10 million, according to data the Trump administration released Monday.

The companies included a large number of well-known restaurant groups: the troubled Luby's cafeteria chain, Pappas restaurants, which is the parent company to Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen and Pappasito's Cantina, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Rosa's Cafe and Tortilla Factory and TGIFriday's. Each of those restaurants stated the loans retained 500 jobs.

Other notable recipients included the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain and the Houston Livestock and Rodeo. Officials canceled the rodeo midway through this year's event in March in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Monday's release is the most comprehensive list so far of businesses and nonprofit organizations that received money from the Paycheck Protection Program. Companies were allowed to apply for the loans if they were negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. If business owners comply with federal mandates — namely, retaining staff — the taxpayer-funded loans will turn into grants and will not need to be repaid.

In total, the federal government disclosed the names of 52,150 Texas businesses and nonprofits that received the loans. Nearly 46,000 of those loans went to businesses or organizations that received less than $1 million.

On Twitter, Jovita Carranza, administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration said the data "shows that small businesses of all types and across all industries benefited from this unprecedented program."

The data includes privately-controlled companies. Earlier in the spring, many publicly traded companies filed their PPP loan information to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Upon those disclosures, many questions were raised over the spirit of the law.

Large companies like Texas-based Pizza Inn and Taco Cabana were able to secure small business loans, thanks to the language in the CARES Act — the bill that created the program. That language defined a small business as any company that has fewer than 500 employees at any one location.

The owners of smaller companies expressed frustration over the last few months over the process. In order to avoid new government bureaucracy, banks became the clearing house for applications. Less-prioritized customers and business owners who do little banking expressed frustration at being relegated to the back of the line throughout the distribution process.

Chris Essig contributed to this report.

The Texas Tribune will continue to update this story throughout the day.

Disclosure: The Texas Tribune, as a nonprofit local newsroom and a small business, applied for and received a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program in the amount of $1,116,626.