Shake Shack, a popular burger chain, received $10 million dollars in government assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) meant for small businesses during the Coronavirus crisis.
Now, the fan-favorite restaurant is returning the loan to the government after funds ran dry and many struggling small businesses have not received any funds.
The fine print of the PPP states that as long as a restaurant employs less than 500 people per location, they are qualified for the loan.
Well, Danny Meyer, Shake Shack’s founder and CEO of its parent company, Union Square Hospitality Group, and Randy Garutti, Shake Shack’s CEO, said in a statement on LinkedIn, “Late last week, when it was announced that funding for the PPP had been exhausted, businesses across the country were understandably up in arms. If this act were written for small businesses, how is it possible that so many independent restaurants whose employees needed just as much help were unable to receive funding? We now know that the first phase of the PPP was underfunded, and many who need it most, haven’t gotten any assistance.”
They continued, “Shake Shack was fortunate last Friday to be able to access the additional capital we needed to ensure our long term stability through an equity transaction in the public markets. We’re thankful for that and we’ve decided to immediately return the entire $10 million PPP loan we received last week to the SBA so that those restaurants who need it most can get it now.”