Biolase product

Biolase product

Irvine-based Biolase Inc. (Nasdaq: BIOL) might not get to keep $3 million in SBA loan money under new Treasury guidelines for the funds’ dispersal, but a spokesperson for the dental laser maker said it qualifies for and needs the loan.

Biolase was approved for $3 million in funds as part of a Congressional pandemic relief package; new U.S. Treasury Dept. rules on who can get the funds could exclude public companies from receiving money.

Biolase executive vice president and CFO John Beaver told the Business Journal by email that its roughly 150 employees place it “well under the 500 employee” limit for borrowers, and it was “unlikely Biolase could access public equity markets to raise cash to help make up for the significant lost revenue we experienced” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The loan program, he wrote, “was essential in helping maintain Biolase as a viable business moving forward.”

Biolase traded down 8% today to a $14 million market cap. It has lost a cumulative $78 million over the last four years.

At least two other OC public companies—restaurant chain Kura Sushi USA Inc. (Nasdaq: KRUS)in Irvine and software maker Veritone Inc. (Nasdaq: VERI) in Costa Mesa—initially received or were approved for loans of about $6 million apiece.

The Treasury has set a May 7 return date for funds. Kura Sushi previously said it will return its loan; Veritone hasn’t responded yet to a Business Journal inquiry.

Kura Sushi’s market cap is about $93 million; Veritone’s $108 million.

Go here for more updates on how OC companies are responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

For ongoing, in-depth coverage of COVID-19’s effects on OC businesses, see the Monday print edition of the Business Journal.