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July 7, 2020

346 Central Mass. firms received $1M or more from federal bailout

Photo | Grant Welker Aspen Aerogels's Northborough facility

Nearly 350 institutions in Central Massachusetts received at least $1 million in federal aid in the Paycheck Protection Program, according to data released Monday detailing for the first time how much money flowed into what individual companies in the area to help keep businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

Of those, 18 received between $5 million and $10 million, including Assumption University in Worcester, Exagrid Systems in Marlborough and Quiet Logistics in Devens, according to new reporting by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which ran the program. Another 116 received between $2 million and $5 million, including Aspen Aerogels in Northborough, AMSC in Ayer, Dean College in Franklin and AAFCPAs in Westborough.

In total, 346 Central Massachusetts businesses received at least $1 million in PPP funds, a share of 2,405 across Massachusetts that received at least that much funding, according to the SBA. More than 21,000 businesses across the state received at least $150,000. Another nearly 95,000 received less than that, under a threshold beneath which individual recipients aren't mentioned by name. More than 1,900 recipients were in Worcester.

Among others that received funding in Central Massachusetts were AA Transportation in Shrewsbury, E.L. Harvey & Sons in Westborough, Psychemedics in Acton, and Becker College in Worcester. Each received between $2 million and $5 million.

Others received between $1 million and $2 million, including Allurion Technologies in Natick, Riverdale Mills in Northbridge, Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, Bowditch & Dewey in Worcester, and Jack's Abby Brewing in Framingham. Tree House Brewing Co. in Charlton, Wormtown Brewery in Worcester and Wachusett Brewing Co. in Westminster, two of the area's largest beer brewers, received between $350,000 and $1 million.

Photo | Grant Welker
The Worcester Art Museum

Arts and cultural organizations were also among those receiving funds: Worcester Art Museum and Old Sturbridge Village ($1 million to $2 million), the Discovery Museum in Acton, the Worcester Historical Museum and the Fitchburg Art Museum (each $150,000 to $350,000).

The Pawtucket Red Sox, whose expected final season in Rhode Island this year has been called off because of the pandemic, received between $350,000 and $1 million. The team is expected to begin play at Worcester's Polar Park next year. Two other Worcester sports teams, the Worcester Bravehearts and the Massachusetts Pirates, did not appear to receive at least $150,000 in funding, the threshold above which recipients are mentioned by name in federal documents.

[More than 100 Central Mass. firms received between $2 million and $5 million: Mass%20PPP%20loans%20-%20%242-%245M.pdf]

Public companies were generally excluded from the program, leaving out some of the area's largest employers including The Hanover Insurance Group in Worcester, Boston Scientific in Marlborough and TJX Cos. in Framingham.

PPP, which launched April 3, provides loans of up to $10 million to businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees. A portion of the loans can be forgiven, particularly if businesses use the money to keep people employed. 

Photo | Grant Welker
Spruce Hall on Becker College's Worcester campus

The Worcester Business Journal has previously reported other aid that's gone to Central Massachusetts nonprofits including colleges and hospitals through other components of the $2-trillion federal CARES Act, of which the PPP program was a part.

Hospitals and other healthcare centers in Central Massachusetts have received nearly $139 million, funding that allows them to stay solvent while many elective procedures and check-ups that hospitals rely heavily on for revenue were postponed during the peak of the pandemic. UMass Memorial Medical Center received $52 million, and Saint Vincent Hospital nearly $20 million. MetroWest Medical Center received nearly $19 million for its Framingham Union Hospital campus and another nearly $5 million for its Leonard Morse Hospital in Natick. Among others, Milford Regional Medical Center and Clinton Hospital each received roughly $4 million.

Central Massachusetts colleges received $33 million in total, through a formula that weighed heavily on each school's share of students receiving need-based financial aid. Among Central Massachusetts colleges, Quinsigamond Community College was the biggest recipient at more than $4.8 million. Worcester State University got more than $4.2 million. Fitchburg State and Framingham State each received nearly $4 million.

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