Phoenix-area trucking group asked to return coronavirus aid payroll loan
PHOENIX – A Valley-based transportation company said it intended to keep the coronavirus relief federal loan that a House subcommittee wants back from five companies.
EVO Transportation and Energy Services of Peoria said in a press release Friday that the company qualified for the Payroll Protection Program under the terms set by the U.S. Treasury Department and U.S. Small Business Administration.
Firms were eligible “with less than $15 million in tangible net worth and less than $5 million in earnings in each of the past two tax years.
“EVO has and will continue to use the PPP proceeds for payroll.”
The Democrat-led panel also sent letters to Gulf Island Fabrication Inc., a manufacturer of marine vessels used in the energy sector based in Texas; MiMedx Group Inc., a biopharmaceutical company based in Georgia; Quantum Corporation, a video streaming and storage company based in Silicon Valley, California; and Universal Stainless & Alloy Products Inc., a steel manufacturer based in Pennsylvania.
The letters asked the companies to respond by Monday and inform the committee whether they are returning the money and by what date.
They said that the law providing the aid was passed by Congress to be a lifeline for small businesses who might be forced to lay off employees or shut down entirely.
“We did not intend for these funds to be used by large corporations that have a substantial investor base and access to capital markets,” the Democrats wrote.
The panel said the companies received loans of $10 million or more, are all public, have more than 600 employees and have a stock market value of more than $25 million.
EVO employs about 1,400.
The company said it did not “have access to capital markets (it sought unsuccessfully in March to raise equity from third parties in a private placement) and presently nearly all of EVO’s investors are unable to sell shares.
“EVO’s small market float is measured in thousands of dollars, not hundreds of millions of dollars. All of these factors support EVO’s application to the PPP which was consistent with the letter and spirit of the law.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.