Maryland firms get more than $10B in federal aid, including Atlas restaurant chain, Hogan real estate company

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Maryland businesses received more than $10 billion in loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, according to data the U.S. Small Business Administration and Treasury Department released Monday. This 2017 photo shows Treasury Department building in Washington.

Maryland businesses have received more than $10 billion in loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, according to data the U.S. Small Business Administration and Treasury Department released Monday.

Since the $521 billion program was launched to curtail job losses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 5 million loans have been awarded, federal officials reported — 81,315 to Maryland businesses and nonprofit organizations.


The loans, which don’t need to be paid back if used for certain purposes, such as payroll, ranged from $50,000 or less to more than $5 million per business. Nationwide, 86% of all loans awarded were for less than $150,000, and the average award was $107,000.

Federal officials also released data tracking how many jobs have been bolstered by the program. In Maryland, about 900,000 have been supported by the loans, and about 75% of the state’s small business payroll, according to federal data.


In Maryland, 86 businesses and nonprofits received loans in the $5 million to $10 million range. Among those were numerous health care companies, as well as financial, legal and other professional firms. Baltimore law firm Miles & Stockbridge was named as a top recipient, as was the private McDonogh School in Owings Mills and Dr. Sherri J. Dale McGee, a Jessup dentist.

McGee later said her name was included in the $5 to $10 million bracket by mistake. Her practice applied for and received less than $100,000, she said.

Among the more than 500 Maryland entities awarded $2 million to $5 million by the program were Owings Mills developer David S. Brown Enterprises and the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund, a quasi-governmental auto insurer that bought “Healthy Holly” children’s books from former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. Several Baltimore-area private schools, including the Gilman School, Garrison Forest School and Friends School of Baltimore, received loans in the same range.

A representative for Brown Enterprises did not want to comment. Gilman School officials could not be reached Monday. A message left with McGee’s office was not returned.

Nationally, the top industries in receipt of the grants were health care, followed by professional, scientific and technical services, and then construction. In Maryland, the category of full-service restaurants was the top recipient of loans, followed by doctors’ offices. Also in the state’s top five were law firms and dental practices.

Nonprofit groups, which are typically not eligible for Small Business Administration loans, were permitted to apply. Religious organizations received the majority of money in the nonprofit sector, taking in $7.3 billion of the $13.5 billion distributed nationally to such organizations.

In Maryland, the Catholic church was a major recipient of loan funds. The Archdiocese of Baltimore was awarded between $2 million and $5 million, according to federal data, while more than 50 Catholic schools and parishes received loans ranging from $150,000 to $5 million each.

Visit Baltimore, the nonprofit organization that promotes the city to tourists and business travelers, also received a loan of between $1 million and $2 million. The group, funded by hotel taxes and state dollars, has been hard hit by the pandemic, as hotel stays in the city have plummeted. Baltimore budget officials said in May they expected $5.2 million less in revenue for the organization in fiscal year 2021, which began Wednesday.


The financially struggling Baltimore Symphony Orchestra received a loan of between $2 million and $5 million.

Hogan Companies, an Annapolis-based real estate group founded by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, received a loan in the $150,000 to $350,000 range, according to the federal data. Hogan stepped aside from running the company when he was elected, and it is now managed by the governor’s younger brother, Timothy Hogan. Timothy Hogan could not be reached Monday for comment.

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Baltimore-based Atlas Restaurant Group also was awarded between $150,000 and $350,000, records showed. Founder Alex Smith confirmed receiving the loan during a recent interview with The Baltimore Sun in which he discussed the controversy over a Black child who was denied entry into Atlas’ Ouzo Bay restaurant due to his attire. Smith said at the time he wouldn’t be able to operate without the program’s money.

“When PPP money runs out, which is going to be soon, we will be operating at a severe loss,” Smith said.

For borrowers that received less than $150,000 from the program, federal officials withheld the business names and addresses of the recipients. Maryland had more than 68,000 such small loan recipients, according to the data.

About $131 billion remains of the $660 billion approved so far for the subsidy program which Congress designed as a way for companies and nonprofits to recoup some lost income to pay workers and also cover expenses such as rent and utilities.


After businesses gobbled up a first round of funding, more money was made available, but some employers still found the loans impractical. Under the original guidelines for loans to be forgiven, recipients had to use 75% of the funds for up to eight weeks of payroll by the end of June, before many had reopened or had their regular flow of customers back.

Last week, federal officials extended the deadline to apply for the program to Aug. 8. and also made it easier for loans to be forgiven. The revised program extends the period of time in which to use the money and allows employers to use a greater share on non-payroll expenses.

Baltimore Sun reporters Pamela Wood and Steve Earley contributed to this article.