Bullet maker Ammo Inc. received $ 1 million in COVID aid as sales soared
A bullet maker grabbed about $ 1 million in federal coronavirus aid this spring – despite the fact that its sales skyrocketed amid the pandemic, The Post learned.
Ammo Inc., based in Arizona – whose products include a high-tech bullet that lights up red As it Flies in the Air – announced in August that it had received the cash from two paycheck protection program loans in April, right after a quarter in which its earnings more than tripled.
The four year old company recently called Three national upheavals – the coronavirus crisis, nationwide social unrest and the upcoming presidential election – sparked an “unprecedented” surge in demand that turned out to be a “favorable tailwind” at the end of the fiscal year on March 31.
Ammo’s annual revenue rose a whopping 224 percent to $ 14.8 million and revenue for the quarter January through March swollen by an estimated 230 percent to about $ 4.5 million, the company said.
But that didn’t stop the fledgling ammunition maker from accepting PPP funding, which was provided by Congress and the White House to help small businesses survive the pandemic. Ammo took out a loan of approximately $ 600,000 as part of the program, while its Wisconsin-based subsidiary Jagemann Munition Components received approximately $ 400,000, according to the company in August Quarterly report.
It’s the latest example of a company unaffected by the pandemic that took advantage of the $ 659 billion initiative, despite the fact that many mom and pop stores have closed, according to watchdog group Accountable.US.
“For the thousands of closed small businesses in colored communities that couldn’t access a single dollar of PPP relief, the fact that an ammunition company secured a million dollar taxpayer-backed loan despite booming pandemic sales is like the salt in the wound to pour. “Accountable. US President Kyle Herrig said.
Ammo chairman and CEO Fred Wagenhals defended his company’s decision to take the money as a precaution. Ammunition didn’t know at the time whether sales would suffer a slump or whether it was allowed to continue operating as officials across the country put lockdowns in place to stop the virus from spreading, he said.
“We were eligible for the loan and every penny went to the workers at our two factories in Arizona and Wisconsin,” Wagenhals said in a statement to The Post. “In addition, we were able to spend money on preventive measures to keep our employees safe and healthy.”
Ammunition seemed to evade the shutdown threat – a June regulation said submission that most of its business was considered “essential” business. However, a spokesperson for Ammo didn’t answer any emailed questions about whether the company would seek forgiveness on the PPP loan, a move that would allow it to keep the money without paying it back.
Companies that have received the loans can generally get them waived if they spend at least 60 percent of the money on labor costs administration.
Despite the PPP cash infusion, Ammo has never made a profit – and that hasn’t changed during the recent sales boom. It recorded net losses of $ 14.6 million for the 2020 fiscal year and $ 3.1 million for the April-June quarter, though the latter improved from $ 3.8 million last year.
But the company’s business continued to develop well into the fall. ammunition estimated last week that revenue for the July-September quarter was up 306 percent year over year to about $ 12 million.
Ammo’s sales aren’t the only sign of that more Americans are arming during the simultaneous crises of the nation. The FBI ran more than 3.1 million Background checks for arms purchases in August, up from just 2.4 million in the same month last year, federal data show.