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How the PPP loans reached your neighborhood

By Public Works Partners

July 31, 2020

The release of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan data by the Small Business Administration (SBA) earlier this month inspired us to take a look at how the loans were distributed across the City. We were interested in the smallest and most vulnerable businesses, so our focus was on loans of up to $150,000. We paired the PPP data with demographic data to establish the extent to which loan payments reached the neighborhoods that have seen the most significant impacts from the pandemic, as well as high-levels of disinvestment. 

Our first step was to create a base map that showed the percent of residents identifying as Black, African American, Hispanic, or Latinx. Our data, drawn from the “Demographic Profiles of ACS 5 Year Estimates at the Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMA) Level (2012-2016)” is grouped by community district.

From here, we incorporated loan data on the number and dollar amount of loans paid out in New York City. The size of the points represents the number of loans approved in a given zip code, while the color represents the total dollar amount of loans received within each zip code. 

Last, we brought in PPP data relating to job retention. We used dot size to represent the number of loans that resulted in some amount of job retention per zip code. The color of a dot represents the total number of jobs retained per zip code. 


  • Downtown Manhattan saw the highest average loan counts (about 1,286 per zip code) and loan totals (about $812,163,950 per zip code) of any area in the City. 
  • Community districts with populations that are over 75% Black, African American, Hispanic, and Latinx had some of the lowest average loan counts (about 340 per zip code) and loan totals (about $54,230,570 per zip code) in the City.
  • The average number of jobs retained per zip code varied significantly by borough: the Bronx averaged 1,183; Brooklyn averaged 3,231; Manhattan averaged 4,099; Queens averaged 1,555; and Staten Island averaged 1,706.
  • More residential neighborhoods saw less investment than concentrated commercial centers.

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