Temporarily shuttered Manhattan Avenue  stores in March following the initial coronavirus shutdown. (Photo: Aaron Simon)

Struggling businesses in North Brooklyn haven’t been shy in applying for federal aid. The U.S. government granted between $500 million and $1 billion worth of small business loans in the northern tip of the borough, according to an analysis by Greenpointers.

Officials in the U.S. Treasury Department released data this week on the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides loans to “small” businesses struggling with the economic fallout of the pandemic. The program has been shaky in its implementation, but there’s no question that some appreciated the infusion of cash.

[iframe title=”Approximate Loans in Millions per Zip Code” aria-label=”chart” id=”datawrapper-chart-kWDB7″ src=”https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/kWDB7/1/” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”2″ height=”400″]

The dollar amount (in millions) of PPP loans per North Brooklyn zip code.
Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury

Greenpoint, which roughly corresponds to the zip code 11222, has received the bevy of the federal windfall in North Brooklyn, raking in approximately $160 million. And more than 75% of qualified businesses in Greenpoint applied for aid, according to an analysis by Renthop.

Some of the companies in North Brooklyn that put the biggest dent in the federal government’s coffers are local favorites. ACME Smoked Fish received a loan of somewhere between $5 million and $10 million. However, more nondescript businesses like ConsenSys, a software company that specializes in blockchain technology, also received loans to the tune of millions.

Manhattan Avenue at the end of March. (Photo: Aaron Simon)

Unsurprisingly, companies in the retail and food industry, both of which were decimated by the economic fallout of the pandemic, made up the bulk of loan applications. The federal government also cut employers within the capacious category of “Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services” a healthy stack of checks. (This includes law firms, software companies and public relations agencies.)

[iframe title=”Loans per Industry” aria-label=”Bar Chart” id=”datawrapper-chart-6F2Oa” src=”https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/6F2Oa/2/” scrolling=”yes” frameborder=”2″ height=”400″]

The number of PPP loans per industry type in North Brooklyn.
Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury

Most loan applicants decided to neither disclose their gender nor their race or ethnicity. Of those who did, the majority were white and male. This could be due to demographic skews, bias on the part of those who administered the program or a combination of factors.

[iframe title=”Racial Breakdown ” aria-label=”chart” id=”datawrapper-chart-WqZ5N” src=”https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/WqZ5N/1/” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”2″ height=”542″]

The racial and ethnic breakdown of owners who received PPP loans (of those that chose to respond).
Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury

The U.S. Treasury Department extended the deadline to apply for a PPP loan to August 8. In a city reeling from an ongoing economic crisis, there’s still an opportunity for businesses in Greenpoint and Williamsburg in need of extra cash to get support.

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