Abstract: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provided approximately US $790 billion in COVID-19 relief funds to small businesses across the United States. This study merges a verified industry dataset of craft beer producers with government microdata on PPP loan recipients to examine the relationship between PPP funding and small business performance during the pandemic. Results indicate that firms receiving PPP funding were more likely to remain in operation and experience a smaller decline in annual production. However, even within a single industry, COVID-19 had heterogeneous effects on different market segments, demonstrating the importance of a firm’s pre-pandemic business model on its flexibility and resiliency during a crisis. Finally, using a quasi-experiment that exploits a natural break in the loan program, the study suggests a positive causal effect of the role of loan approval timing on short-run performance outcomes. These findings provide evidence that the PPP alleviated some losses induced by COVID-19, but questions remain about the program’s distribution and long-term impacts.
Link to paper here.