Denton businesses have received more than $200 million in PPP loans, according to the study.

A new study looking at which US locations received the most Paycheck Protection Program loans found that Denton businesses received $1,544 in funds per capita.

Denton has forgiven 97% of its total $228.8 million in loans to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an analysis by Smartest Dollar. The PPP program allowed companies with fewer than 500 employees to apply for grants to help them retain staff and cover costs during the economic downturn caused by lockdown orders and forced closures. By the end of the program in mid-2021, more than $800 billion in loans had been disbursed, with Denton’s average PPP loan amount exceeding $20,800.

Borrowers had to spend 60% of the funds on wages to be eligible for loan forgiveness. Businesses from any industry could apply for the loan, with construction businesses receiving the most funds in the country at $98 billion, followed by healthcare, professional, scientific and technical industries. The study found that in Denton, the health and social care sectors received the most loans.

The hospitality and food service industries, hit particularly hard by supply chain issues and falling demand for restaurants, came in at number four.

Treasury Department economists estimate that by December 2020, the program had saved almost 19 million jobs, although the figure remains controversial among other market watchers.

The full analysis is available on the Smartest Dollar website.

AMBER GAUDET can be contacted at 940-566-6889 and on Twitter at @amb_balam.

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