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Shake Shack returns its entire $10 million PPP loan

Bay Area

CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 28: A sign hangs outside of a Shake Shack restaurant on January 28, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The burger chain, with currently has 63 locations, is expected to go public this week with an IPO priced between $17 to $19 a share. The company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SHAK. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Shake Shack announced Sunday it is returning its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and Founder and Chairman of Shake Shack, along with Randy Garutti, CEO of Shake Shack, shared a message to LinkedIn to explain why.

The $2.2 trillion CARES Act is being used to provide financial assistance to businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

In the letter posted to LinkedIn, the two CEOs say the PPP came with no user manual and note that it “was extremely confusing.”

But they say Shake Shack was able to access additional capital it needed to ensure a long term stability. Nonetheless, they expressed their gratitude but said they’ve decided to immediately return the entire $10 million PPP loan.

“Shake Shack, like all restaurant businesses in America, is doing the best we can to navigate these challenging times. We don’t know what the future holds. Our people would benefit from a $10 million PPP loan but we’re fortunate to now have access to capital that others do not. Until every restaurant that needs it has had the same opportunity to receive assistance, we’re returning ours.”

Meyer and Garutti urged Congress to ensure that all restaurants — no matter the size — have equal ability to get back on their feet and hire back their teams.

“If this health crisis and the associated economic shock has taught us anything, it is that we are all in this together. Restaurants and their employees are craving the moment when we can safely be back in business and bring our guests back to the table. With adequate funding and some necessary tweaks, the PPP program can provide the economic spark the entire industry needs to get back in business.”

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