The biggest local recipient of government loans during the coronavirus pandemic appears to be Dave Dreiling and his businesses in town — and those in North Carolina.

Dreiling’s businesses received between $3 million and $7.4 million, according to information released this past week by the U.S. Small Business Administration on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Nationally, the program had 4.88 million loans approved for a total of about $521.4 billion through June 30. The amount of loan dollars available in each state is tied to population. In Kansas, businesses had $5 billion in loans approved through June 30.

Manhattan entities received 1,079 loans between $81.72 million and $154.52 million.

Dreiling — whose HCI Hospitality businesses include Woof’s Play and Stay, Freddy’s, Cox Bros. BBQ, Coco Bolos, Powercat Sports Grill, JC’s BBQ and Grill and HCI Catering — received a total of nine loans:

  • Custard Cats, LLC ($1 million to $2 million)
  • Almarco Custard, LLC ($350,000 to $1 million)
  • Charlotte Custard, LLC ($350,000 to $1 million)
  • Hungry Cats, Inc. ($350,000 to $1 million)
  • Raleigh Custard, LLC ($350,000 to $1 million)
  • Coastal Custard, LLC ($150,000 to $350,000)
  • Triad Custard, LLC ($150,000 to $350,000)
  • Coco Bolos, Inc. ($150,000 to $350,000)
  • McCall Cats, LLC ($150,000 to $350,000)

Four of those LLCs — Charlotte Custard, Raleigh Custard, Coastal Custard and Triad Custard — are registered in North Carolina, where he owns Freddy’s restaurants. Dreiling said his banking relationships are in Kansas, so he didn’t apply for loans in North Carolina.

Dreiling said all of the Custard LLCs are for various Freddy’s restaurants; his company owns 33 total. He said McCall Cats is the entity for Powercat Sports Grill and JC’s, and Hungry Cats represents the corporate office.

SBA said it will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses. Those eligible expenses include spending at least 60% on payroll costs as well as interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.

Seven of Dreiling’s nine loans don’t have job retention data listed. The Coco Bolos, Inc. loan lists 39 jobs retained, and the McCall Cats, LLC loan lists 56 jobs retained. Those loans came from Community First National Bank.

The other seven loans, which don’t list job retention data, came from Simmons Bank, which has branches in Wichita, Hutchinson and Olathe. Simmons Bank, which gave out 42 loans of $150,000 or more in Kansas, only had four companies list job retention information, according to SBA data.

Dreiling said he didn’t know why the rest of his loans didn’t have job retention data, but he noted that the loan amount was based on payroll data — the larger the payroll, the bigger the loan amount. He said his business was “in the tank,” and the loans helped him operate even as restaurant lobbies closed during the pandemic.

“I know that there’s been a lot of complaints about the PPP loans,” he said. “They certainly could have done some of the aspects of it better for both the government and the participants. In our case, it worked exactly as it should.”

Larger loans

Those Dreiling loans are nine of 148 with local ties that received PPP loans of $150,000 or more. That includes 13 nonprofits.

The SBA released this information using loan range rather than the specific loan amount. These businesses received between $51.35 million and $124.15 million.

Five business received loans in the $2 million to $5 million range for a total of $10 million to $25 million:

  • American Institute of Baking
  • H3 Enterprises, LLC
  • Manhattan Retirement Foundation (Meadowlark Hills)
  • Manko Window System
  • Midwest Concrete Materials

Fourteen businesses received loans in the $1 million to $2 million range for a total of $14 million to $28 million:

  • Alta Prairie
  • BG Consultants
  • Big Lakes Development Center
  • Briggs Auto Group (In a separate entry, Briggs Motor Company received $350,000 to $1 million)
  • Custard Cats, LLC
  • Farrar Corporation
  • Leiszler Oil Company
  • Manhattan Surgical Hospital
  • Mathis Rehab Centers, LLC
  • Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center, LLP
  • Pawnee Mental Health Service
  • Purple Wave
  • Sink, Gordon and Associates
  • Walters-Morgan Construction

In addition to this, 40 businesses received loans between $350,000 and $1 million for a total of $14 million to $40 million, and 89 businesses received between $150,000 and $350,000 for a total of $13.35 million to $31.15 million.

According to SBA data, those companies retained 7,498 jobs because of the loans. However, based on Dreiling’s situation, the number of jobs retained could be more.

Other loans of note

  • Two media companies received loans. Seaton Publishing Company, which owns The Mercury among other newspapers, received a loan between $350,000 and $1 million. Manhattan Broadcasting Company, which owns KMAN among other radio stations, received between $150,000 and $350,000.
  • There are a few education-related loans. Manhattan Christian College and the K-State Alumni Association received loans between $350,000 and $1 million. Manhattan Catholic Schools received a loan between $150,000 and $350,000.
  • In addition to the faith-based education entities, First United Methodist Church also received a loan between $150,000 to $350,000.
  • Other people received loans for multiple businesses. Colin Noble, who owns two Holiday Inns in town, received loans between $150,000 and $350,000 for Manhattan Hospitality and Noble Hospitality. Evan Grier, who recently made the decision to close Harry’s because of the coronavirus, received loans between $150,000 and $350,000 for 312 Hospitality Group, G4 Investments and Lolo Hospitality. Fred Willich received a loan between $350,000 and $1 million for Hi-Tech Interiors and a loan between $150,000 and $350,000 loan for HTI Management. State records also list Willich as the resident agent for Trinium, Inc., which received $350,000 to $1 million.

Smaller loans

The majority of local businesses received PPP loans under $150,000.

According to SBA data, 931 Manhattan businesses, including 50 nonprofits, received loans in that range for a total of $30.37 million with 4,942 jobs retained. The SBA didn’t release the company names that received under $150,000.


There isn’t really a clear picture on the loan recipients’ demographics because 75% of borrowers nationwide didn’t include the information, according to the SBA.

In regards to the race/ethnicity of the 148 borrowers of $150,000 or more, 107 didn’t answer, 39 listed white and 2 listed Asian.

In terms of gender, 89 didn’t answer, 43 listed male and 16 listed female.

In terms of veteran status, 112 didn’t answer, 34 listed non-veteran and 2 listed veteran.

In regards to the race/ethnicity of the 931 borrowers of less than $150,000, 651 didn’t answer, 241 listed white, 12 listed Asian, 11 listed Hispanic, 10 listed American Indian and 6 listed Black.

In terms of gender, 479 didn’t answer, 330 listed male and 122 listed female.

In terms of veteran status, 658 didn’t answer, 257 listed non-veteran and 16 listed veteran.