Largest owner of Burger King franchises in US looks at applying for small businesses loan

The largest owner of Burger King franchises in United States has suggested it is looking at applying for a government loan meant for small businesses. 

Carrols Restaurant Group, which boasts a $145 million credit line with Wells Fargo and 1,036 stores, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday. 

‘If necessary, repay indebtedness incurred pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act’, the company, which made $1.4 billion in revenue in 2019, wrote. 

Shake Shack Inc said Monday it will return the small business loan it received from the government, making it the first major firm to hand back money provided to help businesses ride out the impact of the coronavirus lockdown. 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) loan is a key part of the government’s $2.2 trillion aid package and is aimed at helping small companies keep paying their employees and their basic bills during the shutdowns so that they are able to reopen quickly when public health allows.

It limits loan recipients to businesses with fewer than 500 employees and revenue of less than $2.5 billion. 

But it makes an exception for restaurants and other food service businesses that employ fewer than 500 people per location, meaning that restaurant chains are as eligible for the loans as a neighborhood restaurant or bar.   

Carrols Restaurant Group runs 1,036 Burger Kings across 23 states. It has suggested it is looking at applying for a government loan meant for small businesses

Carrols Restaurant Group runs 1,036 Burger Kings across 23 states. It has suggested it is looking at applying for a government loan meant for small businesses

Carrols Restaurant Group runs 1,036 Burger Kings across 23 states. It has suggested it is looking at applying for a government loan meant for small businesses

Carrols Restaurant Group, which boasts a $145 million credit line with Wells Fargo and 1,036 stores, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday

Carrols Restaurant Group, which boasts a $145 million credit line with Wells Fargo and 1,036 stores, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday

Carrols Restaurant Group, which boasts a $145 million credit line with Wells Fargo and 1,036 stores, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday

What is the small-business relief program?

The Paycheck Protection Program exhausted its $350 billion in funding last week and many small businesses were unable to obtain loans they desperately need to stay afloat. 

Congress and the White House say they’re close to an agreement on that would give the program about $300 billion in fresh funds.

The government program, which is overseen by the Treasury and administered by the Small Business Administration, limits loan recipients to businesses with fewer than 500 employees and revenue of less than $2.5 billion. 

But it makes an exception for restaurants and other food service businesses that employ fewer than 500 people per location, meaning that restaurant chains are as eligible for the loans as a neighborhood restaurant or bar. 

The small business lending program is part of the $2.2 trillion rescue package approved by Congress last month. 

Carrols Restaurant Group runs Burger Kings in 23 states and also owns 65 Popeyes, Buzzfeed reports. CEO Daniel T. Accordino made $3.7 million in 2018. 

DailyMail.com has contacted Carrols Restaurant Group for comment. 

More than 25 per cent of the total $350 billion fund went to fewer than 2 per cent of the firms that got relief, including a number of publicly traded companies with thousands of employees and hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales.

This led to a backlash from smaller establishments and mom-and-pop restaurants, one of the hardest-hit sectors as diners stay at home due to lockdowns.

Congress and the White House said Monday they are close to an agreement on that would give the program about $300 billion in fresh funds.  

Late-stage negotiations in Washington dragged past Monday’s hoped-for deadline, but the Trump administration and key lawmakers insisted a final pact is within reach.

President Donald Trump said he expects a Senate vote ‘hopefully’ on Tuesday.

Shack Shake CEO Randy Garutti and founder Danny Meyer said in a blog post on Monday it will immediately return the entire $10 million U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan as it was able to raise additional capital.

‘If this act were written for small businesses, how is it possible that so many independent restaurants whose employees needed just as much help were unable to receive funding?’ Garutti and Meyer wrote. 

Shake Shack Inc said Monday it will return the small business loan it received from the government, making it the first major firm to hand back money provided to help businesses ride out the impact of the coronavirus lockdown

Shake Shack Inc said Monday it will return the small business loan it received from the government, making it the first major firm to hand back money provided to help businesses ride out the impact of the coronavirus lockdown

Shake Shack Inc said Monday it will return the small business loan it received from the government, making it the first major firm to hand back money provided to help businesses ride out the impact of the coronavirus lockdown

Shares of Shake Shack, which raised about $150 million in an equity offering last week, fell about 3 per cent to $42 on Monday morning.

Ruth Hospitality Group Inc, Potbelly Corp and Fiesta Restaurant Group’s Texas Taco Cabana are among the chains that have borrowed money.

Several franchises of McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are also said to have applied for the loan. 

Shake Shack said the money it received could be reallocated to the independent restaurants ‘who need it most, (and) haven’t gotten any assistance.’

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a tweet said he was ‘glad to see’ that Shake Shack would return the loan.

Mnuchin told CNN on Sunday that a deal being discussed with Congress would include $300 billion more for the Paycheck Protection Program loan program for small businesses.

President Donald Trump said on Sunday Democrats and Republicans were nearing an agreement on extra money to help small businesses. 

Trump defended restaurant chains, hotel operators and hedge funds accessing funding meant for small businesses. 

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