Its barely weeks since the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was passed and its already out of money. Want to know why?
Disclaimer: This post was partially penned by my wife and 100% inspired by her frustration and anger at these “small businesses”.
After waiting weeks for relief from Federal programs due to the corona virus concerns, most small businesses that we know have yet to even hear from the Small Business Administration, let alone see a dime of relief. Not only that, but it is being reported that all the relief funds have been depleted.
However, one small business made the news recently having received $20 million in relief. TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS? That is the number “20” with SIX zeros behind it.
Lets put this into perspective. $20 million is enough to give 200 small businesses $100,000 each. Most of my readers long for the time when they can gross that much in a year. $20 million is also enough to give 2000 small businesses $10,000 each. That is enough for almost all of my readers to pay their leases, utilities, car notes, insurance and buy gas for markets for months while still having something left for a critical expansion!
$20 million is also enough to give 20,000 small businesses $1000 each. For most of us, a measly $1000 is enough to take the edge off of payments coming up.
What small business actually received $20 million? Of course, it is our favorite steakhouse – Ruth’s Chris. I know that all of you have had an opportunity to dine at one of their more than 100 steakhouses in North America. If not, I’m sure you own some of their stock (RUTH:NASDAQ). You may even know of at least one of their 5700+ employees.
In all seriousness, what the F*&#’n F*&#? The CEO of Ruth’s Chris made $6.1 million last year in salary! They grossed $468 million last year alone!
Now a lot of people are going to be able to see a lot of wrongdoing with Ruth’s Chris for even applying for this program. I can see it. Ruth’s Chris could have spent some of their millions of dollars that they have in liquid cash in the bank. Or their CEO could have forgone a salary in favor of employees – just me sayin. At the very least, it was wrong for them to even apply and could be seen as fraudulent. However, I’m going to go the other way and scream at the SBA. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING SBA? How could you even process an application from a “small business” that has 5700 employees? Didn’t you cut off the definition of small business at 500 or fewer? 500 or fewer is not small to me, but that is beside the point.
According to CNN Business, other companies that have seen relief have included Shake Shack and Potbelly. Both of these companies have millions of dollars of liquid cash and are publicly traded companies.
While Shake Shack has promised it would return the $10 million loan it received, it will take weeks to get that back to the SBA. In the meantime, 100’s of small businesses are going under because even .01% of that $10 million could have been the difference between life and death for their business.
These companies and others like Taco Cabana (one of my former favorites) that took relief money are directly responsible for the death of some of our neighboring small businesses. This is absolutely disgusting behavior in a time when we all are struggling. There should be repercussions for not only these businesses but also for the SBA for even entertaining the thought of approving the application for relief.
I, for one, want to know all of the businesses that received money designated to “small business relief”. Monica, my wife, wants to know too. If there is one thing that I know about her is that she is tenacious when it comes to research. She will find out. I will do my best to publish this list of “small businesses” that have more than 500 employees that have received relief under these programs.
In the meantime, I won’t be going to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse (not a big loss), Steak Shack, or Taco Cabana. That’s a shame. I really enjoyed Taco Cabana at times. I hope that you are all as disgusted at them as I am and will spend your dollars more locally. Yes, I am calling for a boycott of these “small businesses”.
Until then, stay safe…