TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa is home to the fourth biggest amount of approved federal loans from aid and relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to analysis by SmartestDollar, a financial and consumer advocacy firm.
During the pandemic, U.S. Congress passed the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act to help Americans during the economic crisis that the pandemic presented. Through the legislation, lawmakers authorized the Paycheck Protection Program, a hallmark of the trillions of dollars spent to keep America working and on its feet during the pandemic,
The program ended in May 2021. All told, roughly $800 billion was approved to loan recipients. According to data from FederalPay.org, nearly one million loans were approved for Floridians, for about $50.1 billion.
SmartestDollar reported Tampa businesses took in $2.9 billion, putting it at its No. 4 spot for all of the U.S., when it comes to how much PPP money went to businesses in a specific city.
The median loan amount for Tampa businesses was $18,400, according to the SmartestDollar data, with 93.6% of those funds forgiven.
Per capita, or loans per 100,000 people, Florida ranked 31st, according to the study. Miami, according to the analysis, was the city with the most PPP funds in the U.S., receiving roughly $5.4 billion, though the percentage of loans forgiven was lower than in Tampa, at 87.6% instead.
Ranked by PPP funds per capita, Florida cities make up five of the top 10.
|Rank||City||PPP Funds per Capita||Total PPP Funds||Median Loan Amount||Forgiveness Rate|
|2||St. Louis, Mo.||$10,583||$3,104,162,769||$20,832||96.0%|
|5||West Palm Beach, Fla.||$9,488||$1,112,478,719||$20,410||90.1%|
|6||Salt Lake City, Utah||$8,497||$1,703,487,539||$26,463||95.9%|
|9||Fort Lauderdale, Fla.||$8,140||$1,478,835,115||$20,720||91.4%|
Among the states, Florida was ranked 31st for overall loans approved, at a 92% forgiveness rate. The study separated city rankings by size as well. Across Large, midsize, and small, Florida cities made it into the top 10 at each ranking.