PPP loans go to a majority of agriculture-related businesses in the Valley

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- At Scelzi Enterprises, employees manufacturer truck bodies for cities and companies around the world. When the pandemic hit, worked slowed for its 430 employees in two states.

After numerous attempts, they were able to get a payroll protection program loan for about $4.2 million.

"A lot of them have never ever worked anywhere else, but Scelzi Enterprises. So this was not like let's lay people off and let things go. That money was key for keeping everyone going so we built inventory and stock, hoping the gates would open and these trucks would start to come in and we could start putting the bodies on and get through this," said Gary Scelzi, Scelzi Enterprises co-owner.

More than 2,200 companies received money in the amount from $10 million to $260.

Two Valley companies received $10 million in PPP loans. We've learned Producers Dairy in Downtown Fresno and Pacific Farm Management in Madera got the funds.

Here's a look at the top five loan amounts in the Valley.

In addition to Producers and Pacific Farm at $10 million each, American Incorporated in Visalia got $7.4 million, Saladino's in Fresno received $6.5 million and the Dicoese of Fresno Education Corporation got $6.1 million.

When it comes to the top categories that qualified: number one was agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, followed by construction, and then healthcare and social assistance.

The ag and forestry category received roughly $435 million to businesses.

We spokes with Ryan Jacobsen of the Fresno County Farm Bureau, who explained ag is big business.

"So there were many, many businesses that were dramatically affected. We saw the collapse of our ag economy almost overnight like so many other segments of the economy," said Ryan Jacobsen, Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO.

When we looked at the sectors, the top was physician offices, followed by cattle and milk production, crop farming, then full service restaurants.

As for the future, Scelzi says he is holding on for the ride.

"We don't know what's ahead right now. There's no more relief programs ahead and this pandemic is not getting any better," Scelzi said.

He is hopeful the COVID-19 vaccine will help restore some normalcy so everyone can get back to business.
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