New York food magnate Danny Meyer has had an on-again, off-again relationship with PPP loans. Now it’s on again — to the tune of $11 million.
Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, which includes 18 privately owned restaurants and cafes, took in a combined loan amount of between $11.4 million and $27 million from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, according to Bloomberg. That comes just a few months after Meyer’s Shake Shack reportedly returned $10 million in federal loans following criticism that large companies had squeezed out family-run businesses.
“PPP loans have been one of the few pieces of hope the restaurant industry has been provided in recent months, and so of course we applied,” Meyer told Bloomberg.
As coronavirus cases surged across the U.S. in past weeks, New York City rolled back its plans to allow indoor dining, leaving restaurants in a precarious position.
“Takeout, delivery and limited outdoor seating provide only a fraction of the revenue restaurants need in order to survive,” Meyer said.
Among the restaurants that received PPP loans were Blue Smoke, Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern, with Meyer saying the actual amount of loans USHG restaurants received was closer to $11.4 million than $27 million.
Before the pandemic, USHG employed roughly 2,300 people. Now it employs 99. [Bloomberg] — Orion Jones