Ordinarily, an end-of-year roundup of SMB lending statistics may include a wide range of topics—and a multitude of loan types. But 2020 has been anything but ordinary. By and large, one type of lending dominated the 2020 small business lending landscape: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. 

PPP loans are the upwards of 5M loans extended through the SBA program designed to help businesses keep their workforce employed amid the COVID-19 crisis. While it certainly had—and continues to have—its fair share of controversies, the program is widely credited with doing what it was initially created to do: assist millions of businesses in making payroll in the first few months of the pandemic. 

While perhaps not as well-balanced as promised, the program’s reach was extensive—available to business recipients of up to 500 employees that ranged from local mom-and-pop-shops and independent contractors to franchises of international brands, healthcare workers, nonprofits, churches, schools, investment firms, and more. 

Looking back, here are the top PPP lending statistics of 2020 in three core categories—and a glimpse at what may be coming next.

  1. Big-picture snapshot of 2020 PPP Lending 

The PPP closed to new loan applications at 11:59pm on August 8, 2020. As of that date, and as documented by the SBA’s official report, the following statistics have come to light:

  • 5,212,128 PPP loans have been approved, coming to a net dollar amount of $525,012,201,124.
  • The total lender count for PPP loans is 5,460. The vast majority have less than $10B in assets. However, lenders with assets of $10B or more were still responsible for 47% of the loans made.
  • Of the lenders with assets below $1B, 3,553 are banks. The segment accounts for 1,084,619 of the approved PPP loans, coming to a net dollar amount of $84,947,576,047.
  • The overall average approved PPP loan size is $101K. 68.6% of the loans were for $50K or less. More than 87% were for $150K or less. 
  • The top 3 PPP lenders are:
  1. JPMorgan Chase Bank
  2. Bank of America
  3. PNC Bank
  • The top 3 industries (by NAICS sector) to receive PPP loan approvals were:
  1. Health Care and Social Assistance
  2. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
  3. Construction

All three sectors received loans with a net dollar amount ranging from 65B to 67B. From there, the net dollar amount of loans for the next most-approved industry (Manufacturing) drops by more than 10B.

  1. Small vs. large businesses in PPP approvals

According to data on more than 5M loans that was released by the government December 1, the following statistics are true:

  • More than half of PPP funds went to just 5% of recipients. 
  • More than half of the $522B went to bigger businesses, with only 28% being distributed in amounts less than $150,000.
  • Roughly 600 predominantly larger companies—including dozens of national chains—received the maximum PPP loan sum of $10M.
  1. Racial disparities in PPP approvals

As reported by the Business of Business, the initial list of PPP recipients released by the SBA in July showed that of the 14% of businesses that chose to identify race in their loan application, Black-owned businesses received 1.9% of loans, while white-owned businesses received 83%.

According to survey results from August (provided to Vox by the advocacy group Small Business Majority), the PPP appeared to reach a lower proportion of Black-owned businesses in particular.

The poll showed that:

  • 23% of Black business owners who did not receive PPP or Economic Injury Disaster Loans said their PPP applications were denied, as compared to: 
  • 9% of white business owners
  • 9% of Asian-American business owners
  • 3% of Latino business owners

The distribution of PPP was among the factors the New York Fed researchers examined in trying to understand the following statistic: 

  • An estimated 41% of Black-owned small businesses became inactive during the early months of the pandemic—more than double the 17% of white-owned small businesses that did.

Statistics to set the scene for 2021

As of August 8, the total amount of funding remaining from the $659T authorized in Public Law 116-147, was $133,987,798,876. And on December 1, a bipartisan group of senators unveiled plans for another $908B in stimulus—$300B of which would be used as new funding for PPP and other SBA programs.

As 2020 comes to a close, one thing remains clear: PPP wasn’t perfect, but it was big. And the next round will be, too. If anything is certain, it’s that it’s time for your bank to buckle up.