Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati.com. ...

Full Bio →

Written by

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 25, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident loan decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one loan provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about loans. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything loan related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

The Lowdown

  • The manufacturing industry had 4.33 jobs per loan saved by the PPP
  • Health care and social services received the largest PPP amount, $67 billion
  • Finance and insurance ranked last at just one job saved per loan
  • The average salary for the top 20 industries is $57,110

View as image

In an unexpected twist to 2020, the first pandemic in 100 years broke out, shuttering businesses, putting employees out of work, and tanking entire industries while forcing others to adapt on the fly, like the travel insurance industry.

Companies in the industries that managed to stay afloat were presented an opportunity: take a loan covered by the federal government to pay their employees and stay current on critical bills or risk bankruptcy.

The life-saving loans came from the Paycheck Protection Program, formed through the CARES Act. In this study, we looked at the Paycheck Protection Program benefit by industry.

In the graph at the top of the page, you can see each industry’s PPP award amount out of a percentage of the entire loan amount for all industries.

The industry that received the most absolute dollar assistance was the health care and social assistance industry at 12.9 percent of the entire Paycheck Protection Program awarded amount to all industries.

But, the absolute values aren’t the standard in this ranking. In our rankings, some industries fared better than others even if they didn’t have a huge overall loan amount.

Which ones were they? In this article, we’ve got the top 10 industries that benefited the most from the Paycheck Protection Program (sometimes referred to as the small business Paycheck Protection Program).

The industries that benefited from the Payment Protection Program the most are all over the map, with vastly different industries represented in the top 10.

After we cover the top 10 industries, we’ll also add in those topics and burning questions about the PPP.

  • Did the Paycheck Protection Program work?
  • Is the PPP just for essential businesses?
  • Who were the largest recipients of PPP loans by industry?
  • How do I find out the PPP loans by company or industry segment?

If you’re a business owner in one of these industries but missed out on the PPP funding rounds or need more money to keep your business afloat or pay your employees, you might consider a business or personal loan. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

Searching for loans near me will give you lenders and loan offers in your area. Each state has dozens if not hundreds of companies listed that offer loans, with a further breakdown by city.

Comparing live loan offers, as well, is the quickest way to finding the right loan and lender for your financial situation. Enter your ZIP code into our free online loan comparison tool to find the best loans for your situation, based on your needs.

Now, back to the Paycheck Protection Program. Scroll down to get started.

Table of Contents

Top Industries Ranked by Paycheck Protection Program Benefits

You might be thinking: How can you measure which industry benefited the most from the Paycheck Protection Program?

We get it. It’s difficult to assess how well an industry did compared to others through basic statistics like the number of loans issued or the total amount of money issued from the Paycheck Protection Program.

That’s why we studied reports from not just the Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Treasury, but also what we could find from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Each industry is graded on one factor: How many employees at a median industry salary can the average industry loan cover? As you’ll see, all average loans for these top 10 industries cover at least two employees who receive the median industry salary.

Top 10 Industries That Benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program

As you can see in the above graph, the industries in the top 10 for PPP assistance vary widely in terms of the number of Paycheck Protection Program loans they received and the overall loan amount.

The average loan amount varied considerably between different industries, with a spread of around $140,000 between the highest average loan amount and the lowest.

But, as we’ll see when breaking down each industry, the number of employees covered per industry is dependent on the relationship between the average loan amount and the industry’s average salary.

The lower the salary, the more businesses are able to stretch the average loan, increasing the number of employees covered. This determines our ranking.

If a business owner receives a PPP loan that is less than expected or needed, he or she can also appeal to their insurance company for reimbursement of lost revenue. Another option is to find a new business insurance company to reduce insurance rate costs.

Now, check out our ranking of the 10 industries that benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program the most.

#10 – Utilities

  • Average PPP loan amount: $188,593
  • Average workers covered per PPP loan: 2.31

The utilities industry comes in at No. 10 on this list of the top 10 industries that benefited the most from the Paycheck Protection Program. Utilities is a strange mix in the top 10: The PPP has issued the fewest number of loans to this industry, with the corresponding lowest total loan amount overall.

But the amount awarded per individual loan gives it the third-highest average loan amount. The utilities industry ranks at No. 10 in the top 10 industries for Paycheck Protection Program assistance because its mean salary is the third-highest for all industries.

The largest occupation in the utilities industry is electrical power-line installers and repairers, followed by control and valve installers and repairers and first-line supervisors and managers of mechanics, installers, and repairers.

If you’re a business owner who still needs more money after receiving a Paycheck Protection Program loan or needs money to cover personal expenses but doesn’t know where to start, check out our loans questions page that contains a list of articles about the loan you are interested in.

#9 – Health Care and Social Assistance

  • Average PPP loan amount: $133,406
  • Average workers covered per PPP loan: 2.41

The health care and social assistance industry comes in at No. 9 on our ranking of the top 10 industries that received assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program. It is a mix of contrasts as well: the health care and social assistance industry received the most assistance out of every industry at $67.3 billion.

But it also received the third-largest number of loans, making its average loan amount ninth out of all industries. Because its mean salary is ranked 11th overall, the health care and social assistance industry comes in at No. 9 out of all industries in our ranking.

The largest occupation in the health care and social assistance industry by far is home health aides, which account for around 3 million people.

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses and medical and health services managers come in as the second-largest and third-largest occupations, respectively.

#8 – Construction

  • Average PPP loan amount: $138,493
  • Average workers covered per PPP loan: 2.43

Construction comes in at No. 8 on this list with a mix of a large amount of PPP support and a medium mean salary that stretches those dollars a little more than 12 of the other industries.

It ranks in the top four for both the total award amount and number of loans received. For the total award amount, it ranked third with $65 billion of Paycheck Protection Program assistance issued to businesses in the construction industry. It fares well in the average loan amount, ranking seventh.

The reason it jumps over many industries is its average mean salary of $57,110, which comes in at No. 10 for all industries. This means that loans to construction companies can generally go further than loans for 12 other industries.

Of the top three occupations in the construction industry, none reach more than 1 million like the top occupations for other industries. The three are construction laborers (867,000 workers), carpenters (662,000 workers), and electricians (527,000 workers).

Of course, it’s not just companies that are struggling financially during this period of upheaval and hard economic times. Workers, too, are obviously affected, and even with stimulus checks, unemployment, and a temporary halt in evictions, money can be tough to come by.

There are some solutions to the situation, including securing a personal loan even while unemployed. While it’s not a given, it is possible in some cases and can cover your expenses and bills for a certain amount of time. In these economic circumstances, there is another option: the payday loan.

Many banks will offer a payday loan to someone unemployed if they are receiving unemployment benefits, can provide collateral for the loan, or can pay off the payday loan with a credit card.

#7 – Educational Services

  • Average PPP loan amount: $147,422
  • Average workers covered per PPP loan: 2.54

Educational services comes in at No. 7 on this ranking of the top 10 industries for PPP assistance. It is slightly better than some of our other industries when it comes to the total award amount for the industry and the number of Paycheck Protection Program loans it has received. What moves it into the No. 7 spot is a high average amount per loan and a low mean salary compared to other industries.

With both the total award amount and the number of Paycheck Protection Program for all industries, the educational services industry is in the bottom six. However, its average loan amount is ranked sixth for all industries.

Business owners in the educational services industry can do more per dollar from their loans than 13 other industries because it has a low average salary compared to its average loan amount.

The top three occupations in the educational services industry have over 1 million workers:

  • Elementary school teachers, except for special education: 1,422,540
  • Teacher assistants: 1,149,000
  • Secondary school teachers, except for special or vocational education: 1,028,480

After those three occupations, there is a big dropoff to middle school teachers and education administrators for elementary and secondary schools. The statistics for those occupations include private-sector employees and those employed by the government.

Even though the educational services industry is in our 10 of the industries that have benefited the most from the Paycheck Protection Program, there still are educators and people within that industry who likely still lost their income and are relying on unemployment or nothing at all.

This is a serious situation, but there are solutions such as personal loans or payday loans like we have covered. One situation someone should never do is borrow money from an individual online. At best, the individual can continue raising interest rates whenever they want. At worst, you can be subject to blackmail.

#6 – Retail Trade

  • Average PPP loan amount: $89,643
  • Average workers covered per PPP loan: 2.57

The retail trade industry comes in at No. 6 on our ranking of the top 10 industries for Paycheck Protection Program assistance. While it ranks in the top six for both total loan award amount and the number of loans it received, its average loan amount was actually 14th out of all industries.

The dollars from the average retail trade loan can stretch a lot further because it has the third-worst average industry salary. This vaults it up to the No. 6 position for industries receiving Paycheck Protection Program assistance in the country.

Out of all the professions in the retail trade industry, retail salespersons were the largest, making up around 4 million workers. Cashiers were next with around 3 million workers, and store clerks and order fillers came in third with around 1.4 million workers.

Retail workers, because their salaries or hourly pay is so low, may suffer even more when it comes to difficult economic times as money is already tight before the turn in the economy.

For retail workers who own a home, an option of gaining more money is to talk to an investor about carryback financing or a second mortgage, especially if the retail worker has bad credit.

#5 – Admin/Support, Waste Management, & Remediation

  • Average PPP loan amount: $109,912
  • Average workers covered per PPP loan: 2.62

The administration, support, waste management, and remediation services industry comes in at No. 5 for our top 10 industries for PPP assistance. It is a little more consistent in terms of its rankings.

It scores ninth or above in total award amount and the number of loans received and is in the top 12 when it comes to the average loan amount.

The statistic that launches the administration, support, waste management, and remediation services industry up to the No. 5 spot is the industry’s average salary, which is fifth worst out of all industries.

Businesses receiving Paycheck Protection Program loans in the administration, support, waste management, and remediation services industry can stretch their loans a little bit further compared to 15 other industries, saving on average 2.62 jobs.

In this industry, janitors and cleaners except for maids and household cleaners are the largest occupations with 970,000 workers. Security guards are second at 720,000 workers, and laborers and freight, stock, and material movers come in second with 690,000 workers.

Recent studies have shown that the coronavirus pandemic has created two Americas: one where money is hard to come by and another where people are benefiting from the pandemic or at least hanging even financially.

This is occurring especially in the housing market, which is flooded with people buying homes.

If you are thinking about buying a home, one aspect of your finances that banks measure is called your debt-to-income ratio, or how much of your income goes to paying off debt.

Too high of a debt-to-income ratio increases the chances the borrower will default on the loan. This limit depends on the lender, with some banks having different cutoff points than others.

#4 – Wholesale Trade

  • Average PPP loan amount: $165,793
  • Average workers covered per PPP loan: 2.80

The wholesale trade industry comes in at No. 4 for our ranking of the top 10 companies for Paycheck Protection Program assistance in the United States. It combines a small number of loans received with a high total award amount, which gives it a high average loan amount.

Its average loan amount at $165,793 ranks fifth out of all industries and combined with ranking 8th for average salary at a $59,110 average salary, brings it up to No. 4 overall for jobs saved at 2.8.

Now, it’s time to take a look at the employment numbers in the wholesale trade industry. The three largest occupations in the wholesale trade industry may seem familiar. We’ve talked about them in other industries before:

  1. Sales representatives, wholesale, and manufacturing: 860,000 workers.
  2. Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand: 460,000 workers
  3. Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer: 230,000 workers

The average percentage of workers that are either members of a union or represented by a union is around 5 percent. While the unemployment rate for the wholesale trade industry reached 7.9 percent during May, the industry has rebounded slightly, lowering the unemployment rate to 5.9 percent as of August.

Depending on the make-up of a state’s economy, one state might fare better than another due to which industries are the most predominant in the state. In our study of the 10 best states for Paycheck Protection Program assistance, we found that while they varied in terms of size and geographic location, there were certain similarities they all shared.

#3 – Mining

  • Average PPP loan amount: $209,131
  • Average workers covered per PPP loan: 3.18

The mining industry comes in at No. 3 on our list of the top 10 industries that received PPP assistance. It is certainly a strange industry compared to the others: To this date, it has received the fourth-smallest number of Paycheck Protection Program loans, along with the fourth-smallest overall PPP amount.

It also has the second-highest average award amount at $209,000 and the sixth-highest mean salary out of all industries analyzed for this study. That brings it to the third position in this ranking of the top 10 industries for Paycheck Protection Program assistance.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t have any information readily available for occupations in the mining industry, it has the number of people per occupation for the larger category — mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

The biggest occupation in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry is roustabouts (oil and gas) with about 50,000 employees.

The second-largest is first-line supervisors and managers of construction trades and extraction workers. The third-largest is operating engineers and other construction equipment operators.

Mining is synonymous with West Virginia, often pictured with a group of men with hard hats and pickaxes entering a tunnel into a mountain to spend the day there mining coal. Unfortunately, it is possible for mining workers, like most people during this pandemic, to face financial issues due to job loss or restricted hours.

One option for beating this is to find personal loans in West Virginia to cover expenses. Even though these might not be forgivable like the PPP loans, they could make the difference between paying bills or severe financial difficulty.

#2 – Accommodation and Food Services

  • Average PPP loan amount: $114,555
  • Average workers covered per PPP loan: 4.09

The accommodation and food services industry comes in at No. 2 in our top industries that benefited the most from the Paycheck Protection Program. It ranks outside the top 10 for the size of its average loan and for the industry’s median salary.

However, its average number of workers at the median salary covered by the average industry loan is 4.09. This is good for the No. 2 spot in the country.

The occupation with the most workers in the accommodation and food services industry is “combined food preparation and serving workers,” which includes fast-food workers.

The second-largest group is waiters and waitresses, followed by cooks. Overall, more than 7 million people are employed in the accommodation and food services industry. Restaurants and food services stores are found almost everywhere in America, but one city that stands out is New Orleans with its varied and delicious food.

Restaurant and food-service employees — in New Orleans and the rest of the country — have faced extreme financial hardship as their jobs are in-person and the stay-at-home orders shuttered stores for months.

There are financing options for workers in need, such as loans in New Orleans that can help cover bills and expenses until the worker gains income again. A worker might get a great interest rate as well, depending on their credit score.

#1 – Manufacturing

  • Average PPP loan amount: $235,214
  • Average workers covered per PPP loan: 4.33

Manufacturing is our first industry that scores high in almost every category. It is ranked No. 1 overall and comes in the top 9 for both the total award amount for the industry and the number of loans received in the industry. It has the overall top ranking for the average loan amount: $235,214, or roughly $26,000 higher than the second-ranked industry, mining.

The manufacturing industry moves into the first spot in part because it ranks 12th in average salary compared to the other industries.

The largest occupation in the manufacturing industry is team assemblers, which account for over 1 million workers in the industry. The next two largest occupations are considerably smaller — inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers at 365,000 workers and machinists at 317,000 workers.

If you were to think of Michigan, one of the places you might think of first is Detroit, the Motor City. Manufacturing is a large industry in that city, employing hundreds of thousands of people.

Although manufacturing is the No. 1 industry that benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program, the workers in that city were asked to stay home in early 2020 as coronavirus spread quickly throughout the city.

Finding the best loans in Michigan can aid workers who need more money to keep a roof over their heads or to provide food for their families.

Apply for a Loan

Enter your ZIP code below to view lenders with cheap loan rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Breakdown of PPP Impact on All Major Industries

We’ve covered the top 10 industries for Paycheck Protection Program assistance, starting with the accommodation and food services industry and ending with the construction industry. If there were commonalities between those 10 industries, most, if not all, had very good scores in the average amount per loan and great scores in the mean salary for that industry.

This created our metric — the number of jobs the average loan to the industry would save if the salary for those jobs were equal to the mean salary for that industry. But what about the other 10 industries that we looked at?

Now, we’ll start off our breakdown of all 20 industries by looking at the number of employees and the average salary for each industry. We’ve already seen the PPP assistance at the beginning of the article. This should give you an idea of how those award amounts fit in with the number of employees and the average salary for each industry.

View as image

As you can see, the three industries with the largest number of employees are public administration, health care and social assistance, and retail trade. None of those have particularly large salaries. In fact, retail trade has the third-lowest average salary at around $34,900.

The three industries with the largest salaries are the management of companies and enterprises, professional, scientific, and technical services, and utilities. However, only one of those industries has more employees than the median for all industries (professional, scientific, and technical services).

The utilities industry has the second-lowest number of employees, and the management of companies and enterprises industry has the fifth-lowest number of employees.

One of the major problems with the Paycheck Protection Program was the number of loans that went to male business owners rather than female business owners. This is reflected in our ranking of the industries that fared the best: many are male-dominated. Fortunately, many advocates have pushed for more PPP rounds so that female business owners can receive better PPP assistance.

Now, scroll down to take a look at each industry’s overall Paycheck Protection Program loan amount versus how much per year the industry spends on payroll in the graph below. The last part is calculated by multiplying the number of employees in an industry with the average industry salary.

View as image

Of the companies in the top 5, none of them reach the upper echelon of the highest paying industries, but they are not all in the lower bracket as well.

Of course, the industry average is very tilted toward the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry, which has had over 50 percent of the salaries in its industry covered under the total PPP loan amount. Eight of the industries are between 8.5 percent and 5.5 percent.

Why is the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry not in the top 10 of our industries that benefited the most from the Paycheck Protection Program? The key issue is the number of loans.

Each loan in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry covers just 1.7 jobs, a much smaller total than for the top 10 industries in our ranking. Because this was the metric we used to determine our ranking, the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry, actually falls all the way to 15th out of the 20 industries.

The industries with the lowest Paycheck Protection Program loan amount per payroll are all in fields where the average salary is very high. The industry with the lowest average salary in the bottom 5 is the education industry at a $58,100 average salary. Here is a complete look at all of our five categories for each industry in the table below.

Paycheck Protection Program Statistics for Top 20 Industries
Industry# of LoansTotal AmountAverage LoanAverage SalaryJobs Saved
Manufacturing230K$54B$235,214$54,2604.33
Accommodation and Food Services368K$42B$114,555$27,9804.09
Mining22K$5B$209,131$65,8603.18
Wholesale Trade167K$28B$165,793$59,1102.80
Admin, Waste Mngmt, & Remediation241K$27B$109,912$42,0102.62
Retail Trade450K$40B$89,643$34,8702.57
Educational Services81K$12B$147,422$58,0802.54
Construction466K$65B$138,493$57,1102.43
Health Care and Social Assistance506K$67B$133,046$55,3002.41
Utilities8K$2B$188,593$81,5502.31
Public Administration13K$2B$129,180$59,6602.17
Management of Companies and Enterprises9K$2B$177,793$87,2802.04
Transportation and Warehousing192K$17B$89,184$49,8501.79
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation118K$8B$67,577$39,3001.72
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting139K$8B$56,836$33,5101.70
Information69K$9B$134,057$80,0501.67
Other Services (except Public Administration)532K$31B$58,592$44,2201.33
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing246K$16B$63,619$51,1901.24
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services638K$66B$104,087$85,7201.21
Finance and Insurance169K$12B$72,451$75,2800.96
Get Your Rates Quote Now
Compare RatesStart Now →

As you can see, the range between the top-ranked industry and the lowest-ranked industry in each category is spread out quite a bit. The professional, scientific, and technical services industry has received 640,000 loans, for instance, while the utility industry has only received 7,900.

The gap between the industry with the largest total amount awarded from the PPP versus the industry with the smallest is $65.9 billion. Even a comparative measure like the average amount per loan per industry has a large range, with a $180,000 difference between the top-ranked industry and the bottom-ranked.

The highest average salary is $85,720 in the professional, scientific, and technical services industry, and the lowest is $27,980 in the accommodation and food services industry.

Of course, it’s the relationship between all these statistics that makes up our metric and the way we judged each industry and created a ranking.

The low mean salary for the construction industry actually works in its favor for the ranking, as each individual Paycheck Protection Program loan can stretch a little bit further because salaries are a little less.

Delaware is a small state that received a smaller number of PPP loans than many other states but is also a major hub for businesses because of its business-favorable laws and courts. Outside of the PPP, there are other loan options in Delaware that can help everyday workers who have lost jobs or income during the pandemic.

The Insurance Industry and the Paycheck Protection Program

There were numerous industries that not just survived the coronavirus pandemic but actually gained more profit. One of those was the technology industry, where tech giants saw a spike in revenue as much as 34 percent.

One of those industries was the insurance industry. The insurance industry might not be flashy, but it was still needed throughout the pandemic as people struggled with health and life insurance policies during the pandemic.

When trying to break down the insurance industry segments, we first needed to separate the insurance industry from its larger category: the finance and insurance industry.

The following graph shows the finance and insurance industry in terms of the number of loans it has received, the total award amount, and the other three categories we looked at when ranking industries according to how much PPP assistance they received.

Top 10 Industries That Benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program - Finance and Insurance Industry

The finance and insurance industry received a middle-to-low amount of loans and overall loan total. However, it ranked fifth to last in its average loan amount and fifth highest in the average industry salary.

Because of that, the finance and insurance industry had the lowest employees covered per loan total and the only industry with an employees-covered rate that was less than one.

Perhaps this is not surprising given the performance of the finance and insurance industries in the market, which, at least in terms of insurance, came out with positive revenue during a time when most industries were struggling.

The insurance industry also received a windfall from car insurance, with fewer people driving and not as many accidents, but with customers still charged for premiums.

To see how the insurance industry specifically benefited from the PPP program, we broke down the insurance industry by segment to see which parts of the insurance industry received more loans or had a higher average loan amount.

The graph below shows the different segments of the insurance industry and which received the most loans. Insurance agencies and brokerages received the most loans by far at around 4,600. The rest of the insurance industry segments received around 300 or fewer loans.

Top 10 Industries That Benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program - Insurance Industry

How did the insurance industry segments fare per loan? For this analysis, we looked at direct Small Business Administration data to isolate the insurance industry from its larger category — finance and insurance.

The SBA had data for different sectors of the insurance industry from insurance agencies and brokerages to claims adjusting. The data was set just for loans above $150,000. The PPP loan amounts were in a range: $5-$10 million, $2-$5 million, $1-$2 million, $350,000 to $1 million, and $150,000-$350,000.

For the purposes of this analysis, we took the average value for all loan ranges to come up with a rough estimate of the average loan for companies receiving loans above $150,000 ($7.5 million for the $5-$10 million range, for instance).

The following table shows those average loan amounts for 10 insurance categories, along with the number of loans businesses in those categories received.

Paycheck Protection Program Statistics for the Insurance Industry
Segment of Insurance IndustryAverage Loan# of Loans
Third Party Administration of Insurance and Pension Funds$902,915283
Direct Property and Casualty Insurance Carriers$837,055309
Reinsurance Carriers$727,77818
Direct Health and Medical Insurance Carriers$724,563229
Claims Adjusting$710,662204
Other Direct Insurance Carriers$703,633117
All Other Insurance Related Activities$619,689466
Direct Life Insurance Carriers$615,909121
Direct Title Insurance Carriers$503,244131
Insurance Agencies and Brokerage$500,0004,641
Get Your Rates Quote Now
Compare RatesStart Now →

The results varied significantly when it came to the average loan amount, with the top subcategory of insurance “Third Party Administration of Insurance and Pension Funds” receiving on average loans at $903,000 and the bottom subcategory “Insurance Agencies and Brokerage” receiving on average loans at $500,000.

The number of loans was consistent for almost every subcategory, with the difference being insurance agencies and brokerage, which had essentially 4,000 more loans than the closest subcategory. Only one subcategory, reinsurance carriers, received fewer than 100 loans, coming in at 18.

How COVID-19 Affects Home, Life, and Auto Insurance

As mentioned in the previous section, the insurance industry was one of the few industries that not only didn’t take a hit from the coronavirus pandemic but actually grew in revenue. Why did this happen?

When it came to property and casualty insurance companies, the big windfall came from car insurance companies still collecting rates while auto accident frequency dropped significantly, as already cited from Insurance Insider.

Many of the property and casualty insurance companies decided to give back the premium money in the form of refunds, credits, or one-time payments because of that rise in profit.

Health insurance and life insurance companies faced some predicaments: With something as novel as a pandemic, what role would they play in covering medical treatment costs or insuring people who were at a high risk of dying if they contracted the virus?

COVID-19 affects business insurance policyholders as well. One example is business interruption insurance, which generally reimburses a business owner for lost wages if their business is shut down for a reason outside of their control, like a government shutdown or weather damage.

But, because insurance companies almost always include a line in their customers’ policies that business interruption insurance doesn’t apply during pandemics, business owners were left with no money.

This has set up fights between business owners and insurance companies in courts throughout the United States on whether business owners needed to be reimbursed for the time their stores were shut.

While business owners fight with insurance companies, many still benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program. Workers, however, might not have. Head to our state-specific pages — such as loans in Rhode Island — to find a loan company near you to give you more financial security to get you through these difficult times.

Apply for a Loan

Enter your ZIP code below to view lenders with cheap loan rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How the PPP has Helped to Keep the U.S. Economy Alive

We’ve seen the top 10 industries for PPP assistance, as well as looked at all industries and how they compare against one another. We dove deep into the insurance industry and how it took advantage of the PPP and managed the coronavirus pandemic.

The PPP in general has supported small business owners and kept many businesses alive. There were few stipulations when it came to having the loans forgiven and relates to the question “what can Paycheck Protection Program funds be used for?”

One stipulation to having a business owner’s PPP loan forgiven was that at least 60 percent of the loan be used toward payroll.

With quick action, Congress, the Treasury, and the Small Business Administration worked to keep small businesses alive. Time will tell about how the PPP affected different industries, however.

Challenges and Benefits of the Paycheck Protection Program

We’ve gone over the 10 industries that benefited the most from the Paycheck Protection Program. We’ve touched on the insurance industry and how the PPP and the coronavirus pandemic have impacted different aspects of the insurance industry, from auto insurance to health insurance.

Now, read some takes from four thought leaders about what they’ve seen happen with the PPP, both positively and negatively, and how, at the end of the day, many businesses were saved by it.

Experts Around the Country Statue of Liberty

“We work specifically with accountants and bookkeepers, and they played a crucial role in getting millions of dollars of funding to themselves and their clients using our small business financing platform that we re-engineered to handle PPP demand.

Most accountants were helping multiple small businesses going through the process. Our business lending app allowed them to determine the eligibility of their clients and collected required documents in a streamlined, automated manner.

The program was great though we feel the PPP to be a bit unfair: Many businesses had almost no impact of the COVID-19 that still were qualified for the funding.

We noticed that most accountants were super busy and working long hours and they all qualified, but many hard-working small business owners didn’t because they didn’t structure their compensation in a way that fit the criteria of the Paycheck Protection Program.

A self-employed individual didn’t qualify if their schedule C was showing loss just because there was some tax planning element, but if they would have paid them a salary, they would have qualified.

I once talked to an accountant, and most of his clients were in the restaurant industry. His business evaporated overnight along with his clients. His businesses didn’t even have cash for two full weeks.

There was no hope for him to recover his accounts receivable, and for him required money just came right on time. As a facilitator of Paycheck Protection Program loan applications, it was great to hear small business survival stories.”

Nick Chandi CEO SmanshaNick Chandi is the co-founder and CEO of Smansha, a small business financing platform.
He has been helping CPAs and entrepreneurs improve their businesses for nearly 20 years.


What challenges have businesses in your industry faced during the coronavirus pandemic?

“COVID-19 brought forth a major logistical challenge in terms of supply and demand for respiratory products. We saw an increase in demand for sanitation and CPAP products we had to scramble to meet.

This meant reaching out to our long-list of suppliers and seeing who could meet the demand. If no one on our list could, we’d then have to do further research on alternative suppliers.

We’ve also seen a dip in mobility aids such as rollators and wheelchairs. This is because many people are holding off on surgeries due to fears of coronavirus.

While there has been a dip in this, we’ve also seen a rise in light therapy lamp purchases. We’ve gathered this is because everyone has been stuck inside and unable to get the necessary sunlight. We’re expecting a significant rise in seasonal depression cases this fall and winter because of COVID-19.”

How has your industry adapted in response to the economic changes during the coronavirus pandemic to keep customers?

“Providing the right products promptly has been the adaptation we’ve had to make. There’s been a surge in demand for pulse oximeters, UV sanitizers, face masks, and more. While we did already carry a few of these products, we did have to find suppliers for the products we didn’t carry, test them for quality and effectiveness, and streamline our product launch process.

This meant having our team dedicate themselves to ensuring we secured the right suppliers and battle-tested them for quality in a timely manner.

Another critical factor for our success has been partnering with health and wellness retailers to bring them the products their customers were demanding to stay safe, clean, and COVID-free.

With the surge in light therapy lamp demand, we’ve made sure to order 80 percent more therapy lamps than the previous year. While light therapy lamps are in high demand during the fall and winter seasons, we highly suspect a significant surge this year. People cannot get outside, be social, and get to the gym, which are critical practices for overcoming seasonal affective disorder.”

Brandon Landgraf Digital Marketing Manager at CarexBrandon Landgraf is the digital marketing manager at Carex.
Carex Health has been the branded leader in self-care medical products for over 35 years.


How has the Paycheck Protection Program affected your industry?

“According to the American Bar Association, a large percentage of law firms that applied for loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program that applied for forgivable loans under the program were not approved.

Small and mid-sized law firms that applied were mostly denied access to the PPP funds, while larger law firms were much more likely to be able to obtain access to the PPP funds.”

What challenges have businesses in your industry faced during the coronavirus pandemic?

“Many law firms in the legal services industry rely upon face-to-face communication with clients and access to an open and functioning court system. Most law firms rely on face-to-face communication with other lawyers as a normal course of business.

When the pandemic forced the shutdown of all commercial buildings in major metropolitan cities, it prevented basic communication among co-workers, which is critical to the flow of information that is so important in the legal services industry.

The ability to meet prospective clients, discuss and manage existing cases, and go to court was abruptly stopped. Lawyers were unable to file paperwork with the courts, which were mostly closed unless the matter was considered exigent and granted special permission for motion papers to be filed under emergency circumstances with the court.”

How has the Paycheck Protection Program helped businesses in your industry survive and grow during the pandemic?

“The Paycheck Protection Program allowed law firms to continue to meet monthly expenses when cash-flow was impacted by an almost complete shutdown of business.

Law firm business temporarily ground to a halt as the court system closed down and marketing efforts to solicit new clients were suddenly halted as the urgency of the pandemic caused most businesses to simply grind to a halt.”

How has your industry adapted in response to the economic changes during the coronavirus pandemic to keep customers?

“The legal industry has adapted with an increased reliance on virtual communication technologies that allow for video conferencing online.

Marketing efforts have shifted to online lead generation for obtaining new clients with a reliance on online marketing software to manage these new clients leads. Project management software that can be remotely accessed online has replaced internal company intranets.”

How have businesses in your industry used the Paycheck Protection Program loans to benefit their employees?

“The federal relief established by the Paycheck Protection Program under the CARES Act specifically requires that in order for a loan to be forgiven that small businesses must use 75 percent of the funds to meet payroll expenses.

This percentage was later dropped to 60 percent, but still, the benefit to employees under the PPP is instrumental in making sure that a law firm can meet their payroll.”

Have some industries benefited more than others from the Paycheck Protection Program and, if so, why?

“Some industries have benefited more than others from the Paycheck Protection Program depending on whether the business operation is labor-intensive or not. Businesses that have a large payroll are much more likely to be able to obtain a Paycheck Protection Program loan.

Small businesses that do not have many employees on their payroll will have a much harder time obtaining approval for a Paycheck Protection Program loan.”

If there was one thing you could change about the Paycheck Protection Program to benefit your industry or a particular industry, what would it be and why?

“The most problematic thing about the Paycheck Protection Program is the ambiguous rules for obtaining the loan and using the funds properly.

Many of the rules surrounding the program are confusing and extremely strict so that a business could easily commit a small unintentional mistake and suffer significant penalties or be forced to pay the loan back with interest.

A smaller law firm has a more challenging time applying for and also complying with the PPP rules because the nature of a small law firm is that they likely do not have a compliance team in place to monitor how the monies are spent.

Most solo practitioners and small law firms are already stretched to capacity and have limited resources to assure compliance with byzantine and complicated rules.”

David Reischer Founder and CEO of LegalAdvice.com David Reischer, Esq. is the founder and CEO of LegalAdvice.com.
David is a licensed accident attorney with over 15 years of legal experience.


What challenges have businesses in your industry faced during the coronavirus pandemic?

“Unfortunately, the government-mandated shutdowns in response to COVID-19 began in many states in early March and April. This is when many landscapers and lawn care professionals finally began to get back to work after a long (mandatory) winter break.

Lawn care is seasonal work. You can’t mow a lawn or tend to a garden when it is too cold for plants to grow. In my experience, the biggest challenge that I saw lawn care and landscaping companies face during the pandemic was confusion about what was and was not allowed.

Many lawn care company owners were confused by what the mandates in the shelter-in-place orders meant, and whether they were allowed to operate their businesses or not.

Some company owners simply stopped operating their businesses early into the mandates. The crazy thing was that most states always allowed lawn care companies to operate.

With the exception of Michigan outright shutting down lawn care company operations, I don’t believe any other state actually demanded a shutdown of our industry. But, unfortunately, many business owners felt it was better safe rather than sorry and simply ceased operation for a few weeks.

This had to have an impact on the companies that decided to do so, especially those only a few years into operation — most of which likely had little capital after the winter.”

How has your industry adapted in response to the economic changes during the coronavirus pandemic to keep customers?

“In response to the coronavirus pandemic, I believe that the companies that survived only became more resilient. Being resilient is already one of the biggest traits of a successful lawn care company, and being able to adapt to challenges is in the nature of lawn care.

For example, weather, broken equipment or vehicles, and even a lack of desire to move forward are already hurdles a successful lawn care company needs to overcome.

Lawn care companies that made it through the coronavirus response simply adapted to yet another challenge that was posed.

If a company chooses not to mow a lawn for any reason — and another company will — the company that stalled will lose ground … and customers, whether it’s in response to coronavirus, or the weather report.”

If there was one thing you could change about the Paycheck Protection Program to benefit your industry or a particular industry, what would it be and why?

“The biggest problem with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is the slow responses. If the government is going to mandate that businesses close, and in return offer them compensation, it needs to do so in a timely manner.

As a result of the slow payment response, many lawn care and landscaping companies — especially those in Michigan — lost everything before ever receiving financial aid.”

Douglas Dedrick Healing Law

Douglas Dedrick is the founder of ThisAmericanLawn.com.
He is a landscaper with over a decade of experience.


How has the Paycheck Protection Program affected your industry?

“When COVID-19 hit and this offering became available, everyone was somewhat uncertain of the impact it would have.

At Cavignac, we connected with a lot of our industry peers, and the general consensus was that it was better to apply and have the money if the need was there than to not apply and later realize you did need it.

You can return a loan if you did receive the loan and realize that you don’t need all or a portion of it, it’s important to note.

In terms of the insurance brokerage business, the impact has not been as bad as we were expecting. That said, 2021 will be challenging in the sense that as payroll decreases and sales decrease, business decreases as well.

With construction businesses in particular, it’s important to look at backlogs for future planning. Any dollars that may have been set aside for the future fall into that category and the backlog is going to be lower heading into 2021 than it was heading into 2020.”

What challenges have businesses in your industry faced during the coronavirus pandemic?

“The HR issues that arise from COVID-19 are massive and have proven to be a massive challenge. We’re lucky to have a local HR consultant that is able to help advise clients as this is an asset many of our competitors do not have.

Being responsive to and educating clients on HR-related issues that they may face is incredibly important. In addition to HR issues, safety and claims management are also important.

It is always better to reduce the frequency and severity of a loss exposure than deal reactively with a claim after it has happened.”

How has the Paycheck Protection Program helped businesses in your industry survive and grow during the pandemic?

“The Paycheck Protection Program has given businesses the confidence to keep people on board when they otherwise may have been laid off. Without the program, it’s very likely that a lot of companies that did benefit from it would look very different than they do today.

We are lucky that we have not been faced with those decisions, but the program has been crucial for the survival of many companies in the industry.”

How has your industry adapted in response to the economic changes during the coronavirus pandemic to keep customers?

“Now more than ever, it’s important to reach out to clients and prospective clients and make sure they are aware of the resources we have. We want our clients to know that we’re here to support them and understand that the model for success during this time is not ‘one size fits all.’

What works for someone might not work for the next person, and it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what the client needs in order to advise them appropriately.”

How have businesses in your industry used the Paycheck Protection Program loans to benefit their employees?

“This program has given businesses an avenue to maintain payroll and maintain jobs that might not exist otherwise.”

Have some industries benefited more than others from the Paycheck Protection Program and if so, why?

“Absolutely. Take the restaurant and hospitality industries, for example. Restaurants have gone through a cycle of ups and downs with seating and capacity rules, among many others and have faced a very high level of uncertainty in terms of business recovery.

Without PPP assistance, a lot of people would have been laid off a long time ago, and the assistance has really helped a lot of these businesses offset the impact of the decline in business.

On the other side of that, when that funding does run out, more people will be out of work, and it has become difficult to bring them back due to the stimulus and unemployment benefits paying more than their jobs in some scenarios.”

If there was one thing you could change about the Paycheck Protection Program to benefit your industry or a particular industry, what would it be and why?

“To be honest, I wouldn’t change much. I thought the process to qualify for the loan was relatively straightforward, though I do think it would have been nice to have a clearer understanding of how it works.

That said, the priority here was to get the funds out as quickly as possible so businesses could start utilizing them to adapt to the new normal. Fortunately our business hasn’t needed the funds the way smaller businesses like restaurants and delis, gyms and nail salons have. It’s important that businesses struggling the most are able to receive as much support as possible.”

Jeff Cavignac President of CavignacJeff Cavignac is the President of Cavignac, specializing in insurance risk.
Cavignac is a community-centric risk management insurance brokerage company.

Frequently Asked Questions: Paycheck Protection Program Explained

Now that we’ve covered our top 10 industries for Paycheck Protection Program assistance and the PPP’s impact on the insurance industry, we’ll answer some of your frequently asked questions, such as PPP loan forgiveness questions and answers. The topics covered include:

  • Paycheck Protection Program rules
  • Paycheck Protection Program forgiveness
  • Where is the PPP money?
  • Who created the PPP?

We’ll also cover the Paycheck Protection Program for self-employed individuals, PPP loan forgiveness, the Paycheck Protection Program extension, who qualifies for the Paycheck Protection Program, and where you can find the Paycheck Protection Program list of recipients.

Scroll down for our analysis and answers.

#1 – Is insurance covered by the PPP?

According to the Small Business Administration, employers are only able to use PPP loans to cover insurance premiums if those premiums are part of a group health plan for that business’ employees,  and a group health plan that the employer pays for.

If that’s the case, an employer can use the Paycheck Protection Program funds to pay for those premiums if they occur within the covered period or the alternative payroll covered period.

#2 – What is PPP loan insurance?

PPP loan insurance is a type of insurance offered to small businesses that protects them if the federal government later rules that the businesses are not eligible for a PPP loan, even after receiving one. Some go even further and protect a small business if their loan is not forgiven.

#3 – What businesses qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program?

Most small businesses qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program, though there are some exceptions. Small businesses that are lenders, passive businesses, sell life insurance, owned by an undocumented immigrant, and employ pyramid schemes are all not eligible for a Paycheck Protection Program loan.

So what businesses are eligible for PPP? If you want examples of companies that have secured a PPP loan, you can go to the Small Business Administration’s website and download a list of Paycheck Protection Program recipients.

#4 – How can I get my PPP loan forgiven?

To have your PPP loan forgiven, you need to follow the strict guidelines of the loan: using 75 percent of the loan for payroll and spending the remaining money on qualified expenses like rent payments or utility bills. Document everything and be sure not to reduce any employee’s salary by more than 25 percent. This puts you in a position to have your entire Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiven.

If you suspect you might not be able to get your PPP loan forgiven, you can talk to an insurance company about PPP loan insurance to protect you financially if you’re forced to pay part or the full amount of the loan back to the federal government.

#5 – Can small businesses get a second PPP loan?

With a new stimulus bill passed in December 2020, the Paycheck Protection Program will reopen, with the option for some businesses to fill out a Paycheck Protection Program application and receive a second PPP loan. The bill has more lenient requirements as well, just requiring 60 percent of the loan to be used on payroll. The U.S. Treasury website has a list of Paycheck Protection Program lenders, which are a mix of bans, credit unions, and microlenders.

#6 – What can I use my PPP loan for?

Congress, which created the PPP, gave the SBA responsibility to set the guidelines for PPP loan usage. You can use your Paycheck Protection Program loan for a few needs: payroll, rent or mortgage payments, and utility bills. For the first stimulus bill, 75 percent of your PPP loan must be used on payroll.

With the second stimulus bill passed in December 2020, just 60 percent of a business’s PPP loan needs to be used on payroll.

#7 – What are considered payroll costs for the Paycheck Protection Program?

Wondering what counts as payroll costs for PPP? Payroll costs are measured through one of two factors: They can be based on the cost of payroll for the earlier part of 2020 before the novel coronavirus hit the United States or a similar period back in 2019, judging payroll based on the payroll expenses a year ago. In addition, payroll covers certain types of employee expenses like employee vacation and sick leave.

#8 – Who benefits from the Paycheck Protection Program?

The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to benefit small businesses — those with 500 employees or less. It also benefits self-employed workers and independent contractors who may have had their income decreased significantly or lost altogether.

#9 – How does the Paycheck Protection Program affect unemployment benefits?

The Paycheck Protection Program allows business owners to pay their employees’ salaries up to 100 percent of those salaries but not less than 75 percent. If the business owner uses less than 75 percent on payroll, they would have to pay some of the loan back, losing out on the PPP’s complete forgiveness policy.

If the business owner pays a worker over a certain percentage of their salary, they will lose part of their unemployment benefits, which may be higher than their pay to begin with. Work-sharing programs can bypass this issue, allowing workers to receive unemployment and part of their paychecks at the same time.

This also allows the business owner to receive forgiveness for the loan. Due to the second stimulus package passed in December 2020, business owners just need to use 60 percent of their PPP loan on payroll to have the loan completely forgiven.

#10 – How much does the Paycheck Protection Program pay?

For each employee, the PPP award amount cannot be larger than $100,000, spread out over a 24-week or eight-week period. Because this applies just to one employee, a company might receive millions of dollars in a single PPP loan, depending on the number of employees that are in the company and their salaries.

The amount depends on the lender, which holds the keys for who receives PPP loans and for how much. The SBA has put them in charge of dispersing loans, essentially putting the PPP money in their hands.

#11 – Do you have to pay back the Paycheck Protection Program?

If you meet the PPP stipulations, such as spending at least 75 percent of the loan on payroll and the remaining money on approved costs, a business owner can have the PPP loan completely forgiven.

#12 – Who benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program?

The manufacturing industry benefited the most from the Paycheck Protection Program, receiving $235,214 in loans with each loan covering 4.33 workers.

#13 – Was the Paycheck Protection Program effective?

Time will tell but many businesses were able to stay afloat and keep their employees paid during the pandemic, which likely saved countless cases of hardship. The only issue is that the PPP was part of packages that pumped extremely high amounts of money into the economy, which may result in inflation in 2021.

#14 – Does my business qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program?

The qualifications for a business to receive a PPP loan include being operational on or before February 15, 2020, and employing 500 or fewer workers.

Apply for a Loan

Enter your ZIP code below to view lenders with cheap loan rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Methodology: Ranking the Top Industries by PPP Assistance

To determine the best industries for Paycheck Protection Program assistance, our experts looked primarily at two sources. One was the U.S Department of the Treasury, which gave information about the total award amount for each industry along with the number of loans that the industry had received.

The other source was the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This government agency gave information about the mean salary, which was used to determine the reach of each PPP loan.

Our analysts’ main metric was how many employees per industry were covered under the average PPP loan for that industry, if those employees had the mean salary for the industry.

For how the Paycheck Protection Program affected the insurance industry, our researchers looked at Small Business Administration statistics that showed the number of Paycheck Protection Program loans an industry received if those loans were above $150,000.

Our analysts organized the companies by the North American Industry Classification System, which gave us knowledge about specific parts of the insurance industry such as insurance agencies and brokerages compared to claims adjusting companies, for instance. Those data points amounted to 1,325,044.

Although our experts did not use this source for this study, the Small Business Administration provides a breakdown of PPP loans by demographic information and location.

While it does not include a specific list of Paycheck Protection Program recipients, you can still check out loans by industry, the gender of business owners, loan amounts, and more.

Our researchers have used these SBA PPP statistics for our other PPP studies. Recently, the COVID-19 PPP program will be opened again in early 2021.

This Paycheck Protection loan news states that the Paycheck Protection Program extension will lower the percentage of the loan business owners must use on payroll.

Among other Paycheck Protection Program updates, business owners are only required to use 60 percent of the new loans on payroll, rather than the previous 75 percent.

If you’re struggling financially, either as a business owner or as an employee (or even someone who is unemployed), a loan might be the answer you’re looking for to make it through these difficult times.

Plug your ZIP code into our free online loan generator to find the best loans that suit your personal and financial needs.