Tom York on Business: San Diego Businesses Received $ 6 Billion in Forgivable PPP Loans

The Rubio’s at Grossmont Center Rubio’s offers takeout only at the start of the pandemic. Photo by Chris Stone

By Tom York

NBC 7 San Diego television station was one of the first media outlets to cover the history of county businesses that collectively received $ 6 billion in federal emergencies Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, loans. That’s enough cash to pay each resident of this county of more than 3 million about $ 2,000 each.

The loans were made during the initial saga of the COVID-19 pandemic. A key feature of the program is that the loans are forgivable – basically free money if it was used to help cover payroll, mortgage payments, rent, and utilities within eight to 24 weeks. Federal officials released the list of recipients and amounts received after 11 news organizations filed a lawsuit to force release of the data.

Local businesses that received the maximum loan amount of $ 10 million included three restaurant chains: Islands Restaurants, Nearby Trove Restaurant Group and fish taco-vendor Rubio’s. As NBC noted, Rubio ended apply for bankruptcy protection in October despite the cash injection. The chain continues to operate while it resolves its debt to creditors in bankruptcy court.

The station also reported that $ 4.4 billion was delivered to more than 7,700 local businesses. Loans under $ 125,000 were not listed, although interestingly, a business in Fallbrook received a meager $ 59 loan. Many nonprofits also received funding, which was controversial at the time the loans were made. . The $ 500 billion national PPP effort was part of the $ 2 trillion CARES Act to offset the economic collapse caused by the pandemic problems.

The interior of a Qdoba restaurant. Courtesy of the company

Now that we’ve touched on tacos … San Diego’s Mexican-themed fast-casual franchise operator Qdoba will open its first fully formed hometown location in Mission Valley on December 11. Due to COVID-19, a spokesperson said there would be no ribbon-cutting ceremony for the company-owned store. Qdoba, until three years ago a subsidiary of the local fast food chain Jack in the boxIt also has a modest kiosk at the San Diego International Airport. Jack in the Box sold the operation to a private equity firm Apollo Global Management for $ 305 million in 2018. The strange thing is, Jack never thought of owning a unit in his hometown in the 15 years he owned the business. According to a Qdoba spokeswoman, a franchisee has just signed an agreement to open five more units in the region. The operator has more than 730 units nationwide and in Canada.

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Cox Charities has released its list of 10 area nonprofits that will benefit from its Community Impact Grants program. Non-profit organizations include Alpha project, House of Amparo, Cesar Chavez Service Club, Coastal roots farm, Girls Inc., Just in time for the foster youth, Neighborhood House Association, Promises2Kids, San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, and the San Diego County Urban League. Each organization received $ 10,000. A Cox spokeswoman said the grants focused on three key areas: COVID-19 relief, the digital divide and social justice. The grants are funded by employee donations matched by the cable communications provider and administered by an employee advisory board.

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Cabrillo Credit Union reports that it raised more than $ 32,000, which will be donated to Rady Children’s Hospital. The funds were raised during their annual Miracle Month of May campaign, which, despite its title, was moved to October due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. CabrilloMembers and vendors contributed to the fundraiser, as well as employees, who held a silent virtual auction. They donated items for the auction and then arranged secure pickups and returns for the winning bidders. Cabrillo received a $ 10,000 grant from a credit union financial services network to help fund the donation.

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Controlling the legal front … Partners in the Procope Law firm has selected Managing Partner John D. Alessio to serve a second three-year term by 2021. According to a press release, Alessio was asked to lead the company after successfully negotiating this year’s many challenges caused by the coronavirus. Despite those challenges, Procopio even opened an office in Orange County. Alessio still works with clients, but also finds time for community service, including participating in PEERS San Diego and the San Diego Entrepreneurs Organization.

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A dubious distinction … San Diego ranks as the eighth most expensive city in the US to rent an apartment, according to a report recently published by the website. Zumper. The website found that the price of one-bedroom units held steady at $ 1,790 last month, while two-bedroom units fell 1.3% to $ 2,340. How do we compare ourselves nationally? Overall, Zumper reports that the national median rent for 1 bedroom was flat last month at $ 1,224, while the median rent for 2 bedrooms increased 0.3% to $ 1,487. You can drill down into the report here. The report covers 100 cities across the country, with aggregated data from more than 1 million active listings and includes a National Income Index for one- and two-bedroom units.

Tom York is a freelance journalist who lives in Carlsbad and specializes in writing about business and economics. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to [email protected]

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