MiMedx took a $10 million pandemic relief loan two weeks after paying $6.5 million to resolve a Justice Department investigation into charges that it had submitted false information to the Department of Veterans Affairs. (AJC photo: Alyssa Pointer)
Photo: ALYSSA POINTER
Photo: ALYSSA POINTER

MiMedx changes course, returns $10 million in pandemic loan

MiMedx, a Marietta-based biologics company, has reversed its position and returned a $10 million federal loan from a program aimed at bolstering small businesses during the pandemic.

Money from the Payment Protection Program is meant to allow smaller companies to continue paying employees, saving jobs during a time of plunging revenues for many businesses. In accepting the loans, companies must agree to retain employees.

However, the program drew immediate criticism because so many large companies received loans.

MiMedx, which makes placental grafts for wounds, received the loan in mid-April. Officials said they needed it to avoid job cuts and they intended to keep it.

Since then, the situation had improved, said spokeswoman Hilary Dixon. “Since we received the funds, the environment in the health sector has changed, giving us a clearer horizon.”

Last week, the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter to MiMedx and four other companies, expressing the belief that they should not have received the loans.

But congressional pressure was not a factor in sending the money back, Dixon said. “The decision to repay the PPP loan in full was in the works before the company received the committee’s letter.”

MiMedx, which has 710 employees, did not provide more details about its decision. The company also did not say if its decision to return the loan would mean layoffs.

In late April, OneWater Marine in Buford said it would return relief loans from the program.

The company, which owns a chain of boating stores, had obtained multiple loans totaling $14.1 million. The company said “its financial results were better than expected and the funds were no longer necessary.”

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