Monday, April 27, 2020

Potbelly Returning $10 Million Loan Granted Through the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

A Chicago-based chain of sandwich places is returning the money granted them as part of a government stimulus package designed to help small businesses, joining several other chains that have done the same over the past week or so.

According to a source, Potbelly Sandwich Shop has decided to return its $10 million forgivable loan granted via the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) part of the CARES Act. An article from BuzzFeed News mentions this while also showing a Tweet thread from the chain saying the following:

Potbelly's sales dropped dramatically when COVID-19 hit, forcing us to furlough employees, close shops, and significantly cut salaries at all levels of the organization. In order to financially support our in-shop employees, and based on SBA guidelines we applied and qualified for assistance under the Payroll Protection Program. We were surprised and disappointed when the fund was quickly exhausted, leaving many without help. We are returning the PPP loan after further clarification from the Treasury Department. We will continue to seek alternatives to help support our employees and enable them to return to work so they can serve our loyal customers.

Potbelly's decision to return the money comes on the heels of such chains as Ruth's Chris Steak House, Sweetgreen, Shake Shack, and Kura Sushi returning their loans as well. (The PPP was set up to help small businesses maintain their payrolls.)

by Marc Hurwitz (Also follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston)

[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]