Did a Hilton Head comedy club get a loan of over $ 2 million to pay less than 10 staff?
According to data released by the Small Business Administration, nine Beaufort County businesses and one non-profit organization received paycheck protection program loans of between $ 2 million and $ 5 million.
But the club and the other companies on the list say “no luck” and that the incorrect data from the SBA is damaging their reputation and earning potential.
Five of the nine companies on the list dispute the amount of their loans, saying not only that they did not receive what is stated, but that their companies would not be eligible for a payday loan by the millions because they are employing so few people.
The full list of P3 loan recipients in Beaufort County provided by the SBA was published by The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette newspapers on Wednesday morning. The data was obtained after several large news organizations filed a lawsuit seeking records of taxpayer money used to fund loans to small businesses.
The loans for the five companies were obtained from the same lender: Radius Bank. The bank is listed as a lender for 16 loans in Beaufort and Jasper counties.
The disputed Radius Bank loans
Among the companies that dispute the amount of their loans:
Citadel Electric LLC is listed by the SBA as having received between $ 2-5 million from Radius Bank on May 4.
But reached by phone on Tuesday, owner Nathan Thomas said the P3 funds were used to cover the payroll of the company’s two employees. He added that the SBA data was false: His company received a loan of $ 12,500, he said.
“I wish I had between $ 2 million and $ 5 million,” he said.
Ellis Construction Co. Inc is listed by the SBA as having received the same amount, also from Radius, on April 30. But owner Marc Ellis told The Island Packet he’s disputing the SBA’s report on his loan. He did not say how much money his business received, but said the loan amount was less than $ 150,000.
Hilton Head Comedy Magic Cabaret is listed as having received between $ 2-5 million from Radius Bank on April 27. Club owner Kelly Pollock said the club’s actual loan was less than $ 35,000.
The club closed on March 16 and has yet to reopen, according to its Facebook page. Pollock said the loan money, which took five weeks to arrive, helped pay the club’s nine employees.
Portraits of Memory Lane on Hilton Head is listed by the SBA as having also received between $ 2-5 million on April 15. Stephen Dey, who said his studio had two full-time employees, said his actual loan amount was between $ 10,000 and $ 30,000.
He declined to provide documents on the specific loan amount on Tuesday, but the Charlotte resident said the loan helped keep his small business alive.
“The loan has been extremely helpful. We are all floundering, ”he said of small business. “Receiving the funds and getting someone back to work was extremely rewarding.”
He said his employees were on leave from mid-March to mid-May, when he received the loan.
Dey said he originally worked through his local bank but was later moved to Radius Bank due to the volume of loan applications so high. He said working with Radius was difficult because the bank needed more information, like its 2019 tax returns instead of 2018, to apply for the loan.
SCDLW, LLC was listed as receiving the same amount from Radius on April 27. The owner of the company said on Tuesday that the loan amount was grossly inaccurate.
The only other company in the $ 2-5 million loan category to receive a loan from Radius Bank, EVS Brokerage Services, declined to comment on the loan.
In Wisconsin, a small business owner living in the Milwaukee area told CNBC this week that she applied for a P3 loan of about $ 9,300 from Radius Bank and received just over $ 2,000. . But she was listed in SBA data released Monday as having been approved for a loan of $ 5 million to $ 10 million, CNBC reported.
A spokesperson for Radius Bank told CNBC that several zeros were accidentally added to part of the 72-year-old’s application and that an internal database maintained by Radius noted the correct amount of the loan.
“Reports from the SBA side appear to be delayed or incorrect,” spokeswoman Kathleen Barrett told CNBC.
Loans from other banks
The remaining four companies that received PPP loans between $ 2 million and $ 5 million obtained them from different lenders.
One such company, The Greenery landscaping service in Hilton Head, confirmed its loan amount on Tuesday.
Lee Edwards said the loan has helped keep people working as the pandemic gripped the county and put landscaping work related to RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing and hotel tourism on hiatus.
Edwards’ company got its PPP loan from the South State Bank and employs 466 people.
This story was originally published July 8, 2020 5:05 pm.