Atlanta companies have used PPP loans to save jobs and restore wages
Dozens of Atlanta-based law firms were among the roughly 2,200 Georgian companies requesting highest-level Paycheck Protection Program loans of $ 1 million to $ 10 million to save jobs during the pandemic in Classes.
A total of 46 Georgian firms, all but four in Atlanta, were among the 300 professional services firms that requested $ 1 million or more, according to Small Business Administration Data published Monday. This included businesses ranging from Am Law 200 companies to personal injury stores, all seeking support for up to 500 jobs. There were 28 companies that said the loans would support 100 or more jobs, of which 14 said they would support 200 or more.
Aldridge Pite was the largest of the Georgian law firms to apply for a PPP loan, based on the loan size and the number of jobs supported. The Atlanta-based national foreclosure and mortgage services company has asked for between $ 5 million and $ 10 million to support 488 jobs, according to SBA data. Aldridge Pite did not respond to a question about layoffs or pay cuts.
But at Hall Booth Smith, co-founder John Hall said the loan aid his company received saved jobs and wages. Hall Booth has applied for a PPP loan in the range of $ 5-10 million to support 482 jobs.
Hall said in an email his company had neither fired nor fired any employees, nor cut wages since the pandemic began in March. “It has allowed us to keep our employees at work, especially while adapting to the exit of the office environment,” he said.
But, Hall added, the firm has slashed its budget for marketing, seminars, education and other areas, and the court’s closure since March affects the firm’s revenue, which has an extensive defense practice in case of dispute. Georgian courts are currently closed until July 16.
Hall Booth’s productivity for the second quarter declined by around 15% to 20%, Hall said, adding that not being able to do “in-person depositions, interviews, hearings, meetings, conferences settlement or mediation has cost us significant revenues “.
Hall predicts a further drop in revenue for the third quarter as the pandemic continues. “We believe that unless the courts are opened up widely, the loss of income opportunities noted above will continue,” he said.
The main goal of low-interest loans, backed by the SBA, is to preserve jobs in companies with 500 or fewer employees during the economic disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The original deadline to apply for a PPP loan has passed on June 30, but Congress approved a six-week extension, giving companies until August 8 to secure a portion of the remaining $ 130 billion.
The biggest companies
Besides Aldridge Pite and Hall Booth, three other Atlanta-based companies have requested PPP loans of $ 5-10 million: Morris Manning & Martin (for 309 jobs), Hawkins Parnell & Young (for 292 jobs) and Smith, Gambrell & Russell (for 263 jobs).
Morris Manning and Smith Gambrell are both Am Law Second Hundred, revenue-based firms, while Hawkins Parnell is an Atlanta-based national defense litigation firm. Hawkins Parnell did not respond to a question about layoffs or pay cuts.
Morris Manning used the PPP loan to avoid doing layoffs, time off or pay cuts, his managing partner, Simon Malko, said in an email. “We have explored all viable measures [including a PPP loan] to ensure that MMM would emerge from the pandemic with our structure and our employees intact, ”he said.
“As a result of receiving these funds, we did not need to institute the kind of drastic cost-cutting measures (such as general pay cuts, layoffs or time off) that many other firms do. ‘lawyers have adopted,’ said Malko.
When asked if the pandemic had affected revenue, Malko replied, “Like most businesses, we felt the impact of COVID-19 in the second quarter. The long-term impact remains to be seen, given the lingering uncertainty. “
Smith Gambrell managing partner Stephen Forte said in an email that the company had requested the PPP loan to safeguard jobs and wages, and had neither fired nor put staff on leave.
Smith Gambrell April 1 deferred as a preventive measure partners are pulling 20% and temporarily reduced salaries by 10% for other lawyers and staff before receiving a PPP loan at the end of April.
Forte said the loan allowed the company to reverse the pay cuts. “The company has reinstated all compensation for all staff through catch-up payments for the entire second quarter, largely thanks to the PPP loan,” he said.
Another Am Law Second Hundred company in Atlanta, Arnall Golden Gregory, has also been approved for a P3 loan, but in the lower range of $ 2 million to $ 5 million to support 210 jobs, according to SBA data. The company did not respond to a request for comment.
At the national level, 45 Am Law 200 firms requested PPP loans, including 39 at the $ 5-10 million level and six at the $ 2-5 million level.
Besides Arnall Golden, eight other Atlanta companies have applied for PPP loans in the range of $ 2-5 million for 200 or more jobs. This included Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers (325 jobs), Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete (258 jobs), Drew Eckl & Farnham (257 jobs), Taylor English Duma (240 jobs), Ford & Harrison (238 jobs) , Freeman Mathis & Gary (235 jobs), Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial (202 jobs) and Lueder Larkin & Hunter (200 jobs).
Other law firms seeking $ 2-5 million loans to support less than 200 jobs include: residential real estate closing firm O’Kelley & Sorohan; general practice of medicine Moore Ingram Johnson & Steel; the Weissman real estate company; the personal injury company Montlick & Associates; the Campbell & Brannon foreclosure company; Copeland Stair Kingma & Lovell defense litigation firm and Smith Currie & Hancock construction law firm. All of these companies are in Atlanta.
Only four of the 46 companies seeking PPP loans of $ 1 million or more were outside the Atlanta metro area: James Bates Brannan Groover in Macon; Hunter McLean Exley & Dunn and personal injury law firm Michael G. Hostilo in Savannah; and Page, Scrantom, Sprouse, Tucker & Ford in Columbus.
Companies must meet certain conditions for the SBA to cancel PPP loans, which have been revised since the program was announced in March. Currently, a company must devote at least 60% of its loan to the payroll until a period of 24 weeks after receipt and must maintain at least 75% of the salaries of its employees.
When asked if Hall Booth expected to receive a full loan forgiveness, Hall replied that the company was studying the regulations, but didn’t really know at this point. “It worries, not knowing,” he added.