Shake Shack returned a $10 million loan.
Sweetgreen also pledged to return its $10 million loan.
Ruth’s Hospitality Group will return its $20 million loan.
Potbelly will return its $10 million loan.
Nathan’s Famous will return its $1.2 million loan.
Hallmark Financial Services returned its $8.3 million loan .
The Los Angeles Lakers will return $4.6 million loan.
AutoNation will return its $77 million loan.
These are only a portion of the publicly traded companies that have received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from the SBA and these companies are valued in the billions! Below is the reported revenue of some of these companies in 2018:
Shake Shack: $459M
Ruths Hospitality Group: $468M
Auto Nation: $21.4B
Los Angeles Lakers: $434M
Nathans famous: $104.2M
Hallmark financial services: $379M
As a business owner, this should make your blood boil. How did these companies get these loans and why do they need them? Simply put: The guidelines for the PPP loan allowed them to secure it, the banks saw an opportunity to fund a deal, and the companies saw an opportunity to get "free money." Hey, they were allowed to though, right? They weren't breaking any rules; nothing illegal was done. So, should we blame the House, Senate, bi-partisanship, and the federal government for allowing this to happen? Yes, we should. However, not all the blame should be placed on them. Some blame should rest with the big banks who accepted the applications and on the individuals behind the big corporations who completed the applications. Big banks and big corps have to share some of the blame.
The Paycheck Protection Program was intended for small businesses to make sure they were able to retain and pay employees, pay rent, and to keep the lights on. However, in the haste of round one and the confusion surrounding the application process, large businesses got funded while smaller business owners continued to struggle. Yes, as mentioned above, the money was given back, but that's not the point. Some $500 million was given to publicly traded companies and while $500 million is "only" 10% of what is available during round two of PPP funding, $500 million should have been available to small business owners.
As news broke about billion dollar businesses receiving PPP funds, banks have been criticized for playing favorites and giving priority to these big companies. These banks are the same ones small businesses continue to apply through during round two and the same banks that now only offer automated systems, lacking the human factor for lost small business owners. At Lendtek, we prioritize the small business owner and have live HUMAN specialists available to help walk business owners through the PPP process. We acknowledge that big banks are playing favorites and that it isn't right. We want to take power back from big banks and give it to you!
The power is in your hands; you choose your bank, you choose who holds your money, and you choose who helps you apply for the PPP. At Lendtek, we never play favorites, always put you, the client, first and have HUMAN representatives available. To apply, download the Lendtek mobile app in the Google Play and Apple app stores, sign-up or log into an existing account, click "CARES Act", and complete the PPP application. If you have any questions, contact us before the second wave of PPP runs out at firstname.lastname@example.org.