Anecdotes like Mr. Geismann’s, nevertheless, aren’t simple to interpret. Perhaps Schuchart and firms like it could have discovered one other method to make ends meet, or would have rehired employees rapidly as soon as development tasks resumed.
Economists have tried to reply that query utilizing information. Mr. Autor in contrast firms with slightly below 500 staff — which might qualify for this system’s authentic model — with these simply above that dimension, which couldn’t. If the loans had been an enormous assist, then the smaller firms ought to have retained many extra of their employees. Instead, Mr. Autor discovered little distinction between the 2 teams.
But some economists argue that such analysis understates this system’s affect as a result of it fails to give attention to the smallest companies, which had been much less seemingly to have massive money reserves or different financing.
One paper, primarily based on a survey of companies in Oakland, Calif., discovered that these receiving P.P.P. loans had been 20.5 p.c extra seemingly to say they anticipated to survive six months — however that the comparatively larger optimism was restricted to companies with fewer than 5 staff.
Robert Bartlett, one of many Oakland research’s authors, stated economists like Mr. Autor may be proper that P.P.P. saved fewer jobs than hoped. “But for these small businesses, I think it helped them keep their doors open,” he stated. “I’m convinced of that.” Many of these companies, he famous, are in poor neighborhoods or are owned by racial or ethnic minorities.
Daniel G. Guerra Jr. based AltusLearn, which supplies coaching and compliance programs to medical employees, in 2013. By final 12 months the corporate, primarily based in Madison, Wis., had six staff and was on observe for a 12 months of great development.
Instead, when the pandemic started, medical facilities halted just about all nonurgent care and canceled coaching.