Ruth's, a company with more than 5,000 workers, received $20 million in forgivable loans on April 7. That is four days after the Small Business Administration opened the application window on its $350 billion Payroll Protection Program. [...]
The loans were intended for businesses with fewer than 500 employees, but language in the $2 trillion stimulus bill allows restaurants and hotel chains to participate regardless of how many people they employ.
Hmmm, who do we know who owns a hotel chain?
The maximum PPP loan is $10 million. Ruth's said two of its subsidiaries each received $10 million SBA loans from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and would use the proceeds primarily for payroll costs. The company, which operates or franchises 159 restaurants, had a profit of $42 million on revenue of $468 million last year. [...]
As of April 10, the company had about $86.6 million of cash on hand.
Shake Shack Inc. hardly seems like a small enterprise, with 7,600 employees, about $500 million in annual revenue and net income last year of $24 million. Even so, it plans to apply for a new government-guaranteed small-business loan. [...]
In addition to the exemption for hotel and restaurant chains, a second exemption was granted for franchise owners in any line of business who employ more than 500 people, as long as no single outlet employs that many.
The U.S. Small Business Administration said Thursday morning the Paycheck Protection Program wouldn't be accepting any more applications for the $349 billion program. The agency reported approving more than 1.6 million Paycheck Protection Program loan applications totaling more than $339 billion from over 4,900 lending institutions.