A new map online is geographically mapping by state every recipient of a loan of over $150,000 made through the Paycheck Protection Program, a $670 million loan program designed to save American businesses from collapsing during COVID-19 pandemic.
Brothers James Kardatzke and Christopher Kardatzke, co-founders of Quiver Quantitative, began building the map on Monday utilizing data released by the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration regarding the 4.9 million loans made by the federal government through PPP.
The release of data is an attempt to offer more transparency about the massive federal loan program designed to keep the United States workforce employed during the coronavirus pandemic as part of the $2 trillion CARES Act passed this spring.
“I think this data is going to be really illuminating for people and also provide some more transparency in the process that these loans are handed out,” James Kardatzke said.
The data set includes loan-level data for recipients of loans between $150,000 and $10 million. According to a statement by the Treasury Department, these loans account for nearly 75 percent of the loan dollars approved through PPP. Information provided by the dataset in this loan range includes the name of the business, addresses, zip codes, business type, name of lender, and jobs supported.
In building the map, James Kardatzke and Christopher Kardatzke used Python code to go through each line of the data spreadsheet to determine what geographic coordinates go along with each location, which was then used to map the recipient.
So far the map has finished mapping nine states, and James Kardatzke believes the map should be finished by next week. He also said he and his brother began building the map because they believe it can be of some public good.
“We're hoping that once we get all the points mapped out, then we can go back and do some more high level analysis,” James Kardatzke said.
One example he gave on how the map could be used would be to do a county by county analysis of how the loans have been distributed, thus visualizing if some counties have been overrepresented in the distribution of the loans while others have been underrepresented.
The release of the data by the Treasury Department and SBA on Monday has already raised some eyebrows. Recipients of PPP loans have included billionaires, country clubs, and private jet companies. Kanye West’s clothing and sneaker brand Yeezy also received a loan through PPP worth between $2 million and $5 million. As reported by VICE in May, companies making CBD gummies, vapes, and lubes have also received millions through PPP.