How Stanislaus’ $832 million in COVID relief helped the county’s smallest businesses

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Leave it to a global pandemic to test the limits of the saying “Every little bit helps.”

Last spring, as the Central Valley and the entire nation reeled from the COVID-19 pandemic, relief money began to flood into the area from the federal government. The much lauded, and also maligned, Paycheck Protection Program began doling out forgivable loans of up to $10 million dollars to businesses small and not-so-small across the region.

But the data on the smaller businesses — those receiving less than $150,000 from the Treasury Department-supported program — was not released until late last year. The more complete release of PPP information paints a clearer picture of who got what in Modesto and across the valley.

With loans ranging from a few hundred dollars to a few million, the program has given out a total of more than $832 million to Stanislaus County businesses, according to data from the Small Business Administration that has been reviewed by The Bee.

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