Consumer group launches website to track all public companies that have secured small business PPP loans

The US government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small business coronavirus relief loans reopened for round two on Monday with a fresh $310 billion in the room, after the first round reached 349 billion dollars in 13 days.

The second round of PPP is expressly aimed at preventing listed companies from applying, after a number of large chains qualified the first time through an exclusion that allowed restaurants and hotels to apply as long as they counted. less than 500 employees per location.

But the public reaction grew louder, not quieter. Shack Shack (SHAK), which secured a $10 million loan, and Kura Sushi (KRUS), which secured $6 million, announced they would repay their PPP loans, ahead of the Treasury exit on April 23 and explicitly demanded that listed companies repay their loans. before May 7. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse (RUTH), which secured $20 million by applying on behalf of two affiliates, and Potbelly Sandwich Shop (PBPB), which secured $10 million, have since announced they will repay their loans.

According to published estimates, between $770 million and $870 million of the first-round funds went to publicly traded companies. The SBA said Monday that about $2 billion was back in the PPP pot from loans repaid so far.

LOUISVILLE – OCTOBER 03: Potbelly Sandwich Shop on October 3, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

Today, Allied Progress, a left-leaning nonprofit consumer advocacy group that tracks predatory financial institutions, launched a site listing all public companies that have received a PPP loan – and the list is longer than you might expect. thought so.

The list contains 210 companies and includes each company’s total PPP loans, 2019 net income, CEO compensation and most recent share buyback.

Major companies that have secured PPP small business loans include restaurant chains like Fiesta Restaurant Group (FRGI), parent company of Taco Cabana, which secured $10 million, and RAVE Restaurant Group (RAVE), parent company of Pizza Inn and Pie Five, which won $657,000; hotel chains like Braemar (BHR), which got $15.8 million, and Red Lions (RLH), which got $4.23 million; and even pharma companies like Xeris (XERS), which got $5 million, Adamis (ADMP), which got $3.12 million, and Cumberland (CPIX), which got $2.19 million.

The public company that got the most PPP loan money was Ashford Hospitality Trust, a Dallas-based real estate investment firm that owns 117 hotels and has already received $30 million applying on behalf of 42 different affiliates, and expects to receive more loan money. Ashford Inc., a related company, received $12.8 million.

One man, Monty Bennett, is chairman of Ashford Hospitality Trust, Ashford Inc. and Braemar Hotels, which collectively received $58.6 million in PPP loans. Bennett, the Allied Progress page notes, has donated $200,000 to Trump’s 2020 campaign and the RNC since 2019.

“The more the administration prioritizes helping well-connected businesses over small businesses that haven’t paid payroll in weeks and have nowhere to turn, the longer it will take for the economy is recovering,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable. US Action, the nonprofit parent organization of Allied Progress. “How many family-owned shops got lost in a bureaucratic black hole and had to close their doors while millions of dollars were transferred to large chains of restaurants and luxury hotels?”

As pressure mounts, from both the Treasury and the public, Yahoo Finance is tracking all restaurant chains that repay their PPP loan money.

The second round of $310 billion PPP is expected to move quickly, possibly faster than the first round. Unsurprisingly, Jovita Carranza, SBA Administrator tweeted Monday afternoon, “Unprecedented demand is slowing our system response times. Currently, there are double the number of users accessing the system compared to any previous day in the first round.

Daniel Roberts is an editor at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.

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