Doctors, Doughnuts, Sawmills, and New Car Dealers: Who Got Big PPP Loans in Oregon

More than 1,000 businesses in the state got $1 million or more.

By Margaret Seiler July 7, 2020

Portland-based Voodoo Doughnut is one of more than 1,000 Oregon businesses to receive a PPP loan of $1 million or more.

The Small Business Administration released data Monday on the recipients of its forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans. Exact amounts were not disclosed for larger loans, just ranges. A part of the CARES Act meant to reduce the number of layoffs during the COVID-19 economic meltdown, the loans were open to small businesses (as defined by the SBA, “small” can vary by industry but generally means 500 or fewer employees, and 500 or fewer per location for restaurant and hotel chains), nonprofits, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and the self-employed.

Nationally, the program has so far granted more than $520 billion to nearly 5 million recipients. “The average loan size is approximately $100,000, demonstrating that the program is serving the smallest of businesses,” claimed Treasury Secretary and Suicide Squad executive producer Steven Mnuchin in a news release. Some loans, though, were far more than that, including 1,049 PPP loans in Oregon between $1 million and $10 million.

Familiar Portland businesses receiving loans of $1 million or more include Sizzle Pie, Voodoo Doughnut, Salt & Straw, Pizzicato, Shari’s, the Benson Hotel, DoveLewis Animal Hospital, Trackers children’s camps, Mercy Corps, Ecotrust, Dark Horse Comics, Bishops, the Portland Japanese Garden, the Oregon Symphony, Portland Center Stage, the Portland Art Museum, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Toro Bravo, a restaurant and catering company now in limbo amid the fallout of chef John Gorham’s internet behavior, is on the list. Mt Hood Meadows and Timberline ski areas were among the regional travel destinations receiving loans, as well as Salishan Coastal Lodge, the Allison Inn in Newberg, and the Pig ’N Pancake in Seaside. Shilo Inns, whose founder has had issues in the past with taxes and loan repayments, got a loan.

Manufacturing, health care, and construction industries account for nearly half of the recipients of PPP loans of $1 million or more in Oregon. The 173 such loans to manufacturing went to everything from sawmills and circuit makers to wineries (including Domaine Serene and Stoller Family Estate, which each received a loan of between $1 million and $2 million) to large breweries like Deschutes (in the $5–10 million range), Rogue ($2–5 million), and Full Sail, Fort George, and Ninkasi ($1–2 million).

Health care loan recipients include 12 hospitals; many elder care services and facilities, assisted living and skilled nursing centers, retirement communities, nursing homes; and 40 physician offices, including eye care offices, anesthesiology groups, and others that saw their patient flow reduced when elective procedures were put on hold. 

There were also 40 loans of a million or more to new car dealers, making up nearly half of the large loan recipients in the retail trade category in Oregon. Million-plus loans in the professional, scientific, and technological services category include amounts to 11 Portland architecture firms and 16 law offices. Education businesses on the list include the Pacific Northwest College of Art, the National University of Naturopathic Medicine, the University of Western States (which includes a century-plus-old chiropractic college), several Christian colleges, and the for-profit Pioneer Pacific, which announced last week it was closing one of its Oregon campuses. K–12 religious schools and charter school companies also were among the recipients.

An additional 8,175 business in Oregon received PPP loans of between $150,000 and $1 million, from Casa Diablo to the Pumpkin Patch to Pendleton Woolen Mills to Voicebox karaoke bars. This loan range includes local food-and-drink purveyors Baker and Spice, Ruby Jewel, Tao of Tea, Tusk, RingSide, Hopworks, Providore Fine Foods, the airport Beaches, and more.

The SBA did not release the names of the more than 53,000 recipients in Oregon of loans under $150,000, which include nearly 300 that had loans of $1,000 or under.

Note: Portland-founded but now Seattle-based SagaCity Media, Portland Monthly’s parent company, also received a PPP loan, which is a big part of why I’m on the clock and typing this story right now after six weeks of a partial layoff. Hiiiiii!  

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