80 Notable Philly Institutions and Businesses That Received PPP Loans
Starr Restaurants, the Barnes Foundation, Pat’s Steaks, Friends’ Central, Boyds, the Kline & Specter personal injury law firm, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia all got at least $150,000 (and some a good bit more).
When the Trump administration first began issuing forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses survive amid the coronavirus pandemic, Treasury Department officials said they wouldn’t share the list of recipients. Predictably, condemnation ensued. Less predictably, the administration later capitulated — one small victory for government transparency.
Well, sort of. The Trump administration on Monday released a list of 4.9 million businesses that received loans to pay workers who would have otherwise been laid off due to the pandemic, though it only named those businesses receiving more than $150,000. That totals 650,000, or 13 percent of all recipients. (According to the Small Business Association, the average loan size nationwide was $107,000). The millions of other business to receive smaller loans remain anonymous, and multiple news outlets are suing the government to unearth their names.
Still, Monday’s data dump left us plenty to sift through. In Pennsylvania alone, 26,000 businesses, in virtually every sector of the economy, received more than $150,000. The businesses in question ranged from the notable (Starr Restaurants, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Boyds) to the not-so-notable (many, many construction firms, car dealerships and doctor’s offices.)
To establish our definitive list of noteworthy Philly businesses to receive PPP funds, we sorted through the the very large, occasionally headache-inducing Excel spreadsheet. Here’s what we found. (Note: The spreadsheet doesn’t list exact amounts that companies received, just a dollar range.)
Restaurants were among the businesses hardest hit by pandemic closures, so it’s no surprise to see plenty of titans of the Philly food scene here. It’s even less surprising when you consider the total failure of the restaurant insurance industry. Here’s the list:
City Tap Holdings: Loan amount: $2 million-$5 million.
Honeygrow: $2 million-$5 million
Di Bruno Bros.: $1 million-$2 million
Rita’s Franchise Company (a.k.a. Rita’s Water Ice): $1 million-$2 million
Saxby’s: $1 million-$2 million
Yards Brewing Company: $1 million-$2 million
Starr Restaurants: $350,000-$1 million
Schulson Collective: $350,000-$1 million
CookNSolo: $350,000-$1 million
Zahav: $350,000-$1 million
Harp & Crown: $350,000-$1 million
Giuseppe & Sons: $350,000-$1 million
Chickie’s and Pete’s: $350,000-$1 million
Schulson Catering: $150,000-$350,000
Zavino University City: $150,000-$350,000
Sabrina’s Drexel: $150,000-$350,000
Sabrina’s Wynnewood: $150,000-$350,000
Geno’s Steaks: $150,000-$350,000
Pat’s King of Steaks: $150,000-$350,000
Sly Fox Brewing Company: $150,000-$350,000
Franklin Fountain: $150,000-$350,000
Abe Fisher: $150,000-$350,000
Han Dynasty University City: $150,000-$350,000
Han Dynasty of Philadelphia: $150,000-$350,000
Museums have been closed since March. Now, with the city in a green phrase (which isn’t really a green phase, considering that many businesses, like restaurants, still aren’t allowed to open indoors), they’re officially returning. Performing arts institutions like theaters, on the other hand, packed as they are with indoor seats, aren’t so lucky. And even if they could reopen, it’s far from certain that people would want to sit in a theater for two or three hours. In New York, Broadway has already canceled all performances through the end of the year. Which is all to say: No surprise that there are lots of well-known businesses in this category, too.
Philadelphia Museum of Art: $5 million-$10 million
Kimmel Center: $2 million-$5 million
The Franklin Institute: $2 million-$5 million
The Philadelphia Orchestra Association: $2 million-$5 million
Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art: $1 million-$2 million
Museum of the American Revolution: $1 million-$2 million
National Constitution Center: $1 million-$2 million
Opera Philadelphia: $1 million-$2 million
The Barnes Foundation: $1 million-$2 million
The Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation: $1 million-$2 million
Walnut Street Theater: $1 million-$2 million
American Philosophical Society: $350,000-$1 million
Arden Theatre Company: $350,000-$1 million
Bryn Mawr Theater and Film Institute: $150,000-$350,000
Philadelphia Theatre Co.: $150,000-$350,000
Philadelphia Film Society: $150,000-$350,000
Wilma Theater: $150,000-$350,000
Here’s another industry that’s been decimated with layoffs due to the pandemic. A number of local media outlets (and one PR firm) in Philly did receive some governmental assistance, though. This is also where we disclose that Metro Corp., Philly Mag’s parent company (and also the publisher of Boston magazine), received between $1 million and $2 million from the PPP program. Which is maybe one of the reasons why you get to read this article. Thanks!
The Scranton Times: $2 million-$5 million
WHYY: $2 million-$5 million
Brownstein Group: $1 million-$2 million
Metro Corp.: $1 million-$2 million
Philadelphia Tribune: $350,000-$1 million
Also taking a huge financial hit due to the pandemic? Retail stores. We didn’t turn up that many in the spreadsheet of companies receiving more than $150,000, though we’d expect a whole bunch more in the still-anonymous list of those receiving less than that. Here are two heavy hitters:
Govberg: $2 million-$5 million
Boyds: $1 million-$2 million
You wouldn’t really expect startups, considering their proximity to the bursting wallet of venture capital, to be struggling for money. Perhaps that explains why we found only two tech companies in the PPP database.
Curalate: $2 million-$5 million
Linode: $2 million-$5 million
Civic Institutions and Nonprofits
Nonprofits and civic institutions typically rely on the generosity of donors — or governments — to make ends meet. And by the time those ends are met, there often isn’t a whole lot left over. Which is why the following groups received assistance:
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society: $2 million-$5 million
Project HOME: $2 million-$5 million
Zoological Society of Philadelphia: $2 million-$5 million
Mazzoni Center: $1 million-$2 million
Pennsylvania SPCA: $1 million-$2 million
Philabundance: $1 million-$2 million
Planned Parenthood of Southeast Pa.: $1 million-$2 million
University City Science Center: $1 million-$2 million
University City District: $350,000-$1 million
The educational institutions receiving money from the government range from hyper-expensive private schools to publicly funded charters to colleges with (admittedly small) endowments. Here are a few of the notable ones.
Collegium Charter School (Exton): $5 million-$10 million
Cabrini University: $2 million-$5 million
Chestnut Hill College: $2 million-$5 million
Friends’ Central School: $2 million-$5 million
Germantown Friends: $2 million-$5 million
The Shipley School: $2 million-$5 million
Moore College of Art & Design: $1 million-$2 million
Perelman Jewish Day School: $1 million-$2 million
The Philadelphia School: $1 million-$2 million
West Chester University Foundation: $350,000-$1 million
Developers in Philadelphia already get one very significant tax break. Now, some of them are getting a different kind of governmental assistance.
Campus Apartments: $5 million-$10 million
PMC Property Group: $2 million-$5 million
PREIT Associates (also known as developers of the Fashion District): $2 million-$5 million
Tower Investments (also known as Bart Blatstein’s company): $150,000-$350,000
For our last category, we consider those businesses that don’t provide goods, but rather services or subscriptions (or, in one case, the word of God).
Archdiocese of Philadelphia: $2 million-$5 million
Cescaphe: $2 million-$5 million
Dilworth Paxson LLP: $2 million-$5 million
Kline & Specter: $2 million-$5 million
Fitler Club: $1 million-$2 million
Congrats on making it this far! Should you wish to descend further into the spreadsheet depths of the PPP loan recipients, you can download the full data set here.
Update 7/8/2020: This story has been updated to remove Delaware Valley University, which says it returned its PPP loan after determining it didn’t meet the eligibility criteria.
Update 7/20/2020: Due to an error in the SBA dataset, this story originally misstated the amount of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s loan. The loan was between $1 million and $2 million, not between $2 million and $5 million.