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Amid outrage, Shake Shack returns its $10 million government loan

People walk past a Shake Shack restaurant in New York
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
  • Marc Bain
By Marc Bain

Fashion reporter


The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was meant to be a government lifeline to small businesses, authorizing $349 billion in forgivable loans to companies with fewer than 500 employees (pdf) so they could keep paying employees amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

But some that received money were comparatively large restaurant chains such as Potbelly and Shake Shack, a publicly traded, international fast-food company with nearly 8,000 employees and total revenue of nearly $600 million in 2019. Shake Shack alone got $10 million. As PPP quickly ran out of funds, the company came under fire for taking the money.

Now it says itโ€™s giving the entire amount back to the government, because it was able to get the funds it needed on the public markets.

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