About the Paycheck Protection Program Data Website

Lots of PPP data made easily available.

Companies that receive PayCheck Protection Program (PPP) loans may have the loans forgiven. Does that mean that the loan is a direct subsidy to business owners? The businesses may be required to spend a portion of the loan on payroll, so in cases where a company would have gone out of business without the loan, the workers would get paid because of the PPP loan. But if a company had gone out of business, the workers could have collected unemployment insurance, so it isn’t unambiguously all that great for workers. If the loan is forgiven, will the workers receive the proceeds? Unlikely, because most companies are not democratic enterprises that let the many workers make the decisions. Instead, workplaces are usually authoritarian private governments where the few rule over the many.

In the case of PPP loans, many business owners (authoritarians?!) have walked away with up to $10 million each, courtesy of the public purse.

Those are some of the issues that led me to explore the PPP data. Initially, I found it somewhat difficult to parse the large files provided by the SBA that contained who got what in regards to the PPP. So, I merged and cleaned the files and then but them into a user-friendly format on this website so that others could find companies that got PPP loans more easily.

Other sites have done similar things. ProPublica has an excellent site of earlier PPP data. However, pppdata.net adds some value beyond what other sites currently offer:

  1. The data here is newer (by about 5 months, released in December, 2020)
  2. This website includes exact loan approval amounts (instead of ranges).
  3. We include more data. The raw data includes loans under $150k, unlike other sources.

The SBA was sued to get these data

There’s an interesting story about how a group of news organizations sued the SBA to get them to provide details about the PPP.

Notes from the SBA

See the SBA for details about the data.

About Me

I make image editing tools for fun, like one that print PDFs without black ink and another that adds borders to photos. I’m also a social scientist and work on an assortment of data analysis and research projects.