Ruth’s Hospitality Group, the company that owns high-end steak chain Ruth’s Chris Steak House, announced it will return the $20 million coronavirus small business loan it received, CBS 11 News reports.
Their announcement comes after the Small Business Administration issued an advisory Thursday aimed at companies like restaurant chains Ruths’ Chris and Potbelly that received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.
They implied that unless a company can prove it was truly eligible for a loan, the money should be returned by May 7.
The PPP was intended to help small businesses with fewer than 500 employees stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, but the program’s initial $349 billion in funds ran out last week before many small businesses received any money.
Ruth’s Hospitality Group sent CBS 11 News the following statement:
In an effort to protect our team members and their loved ones, Ruth’s Hospitality Group applied for and received loans under the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We were eligible for this assistance, and our goal was to utilize funds to keep as many of our team members working for as long as possible, cover 100% of healthcare benefits, and position Ruth’s Chris to rebuild its workforce as quickly as possible.
We intended to repay this loan in adherence with government guidelines. As we learned more about the funding limitations of the program and the unintended impact, we have decided to accelerate that repayment. We remain dedicated to protecting our hardworking team. It is our hope that these funds are loaned to another company to protect their employees, just as we intended.Ruth’s Hospitality Group