Ruth’s Chris Steak House on Thursday became the latest of several restaurant chains to announce that it will repay a loan it received under the Federal Paycheck Protection Program (P3P) for small businesses, reported NBC.
The restaurant chain received a $ 20 million loan through PPP, a program included in the $ 2.2 trillion stimulus bill last month and administered by the Small Business Administration. The chain has claimed eligibility for the aid by showing it has fewer than 500 employees at each of its more than 100 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Shake Shack, which obtained a loan using a similar logic, announced that it would return the funds earlier this week.
Another restaurant chain that received PPP aid, Sweetgreen, also said it would pay off the $ 10 million loan on Thursday.
“We learned that the money was depleted and that so many small businesses and industry friends who needed it most received none,” the founders of Sweetgreen said in a statement.
“If this crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we are all in the same boat and strongly believe that the restaurant community needs more support and resources to weather this storm,” they said.
The funding returns come as the news of the big business loans sparked a public backlash and sparked a Change.org petition specifically calling on Ruth’s Chris Steak House to return the P3 money.
In addition to Shake Shack, Sweetgreen and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Kura Sushi has announced that it will repay its $ 5.98 million loan, which it received after closing its more than 400 branches in the United States at mid-March.
“It was a difficult decision because our employees are extremely important to us, but it is impossible to ignore the fact that our finances allow us to overcome financial difficulties longer than independent restaurateurs,” said the President and CEO of the direction Jimmy Uba in a press release. Thusday.
“We hope that these funds will be shared fairly among deserving candidates,” he added.