National salad chain Sweetgreen returns $10 million PPP federal loan
Los Angeles-based national salad chain sweetgreen became the latest high-level enterprise to return its federally subsidized Paycheck Protection Program loan, otherwise known as PPP. Sweetgreen had secured $10 million, but faced with growing criticism that the program only provided funds to large companies like Ruth’s Chris and Potbelly Sandwiches, sweetgreenThe management of has decided to return the funds to the general pool. Others like Shake Shack and Kura Sushi did the same.
In an average job titled “Why we decided to repay our PPP loan”, co-founders Jonathan Neman, Nicolas Jammet and Nathaniel Ru state:
Late last week, we were approved for a $10 million loan under the program. On the same day, we learned that the money had run out and that so many small businesses and industry friends who needed it most had not received the money. Knowing this, we quickly made the decision to repay the loan.
Like all restaurants, sweetgreen’s revenue has been significantly impacted during this unprecedented time. When we applied for the SBA loan, our goal was to use it as intended – to take care of our restaurant teams during this crisis. 100% of the loan was going to be used to pay people in our restaurants and rehire furloughed team members more quickly.
Sweetgreen was rated in 2018 to 1 billion dollars, and has locations across the country. The company first started selling fast-casual salad bowls under $20 in the Washington, DC area, but moved its headquarters to Culver City a few years ago.
A second round of P3 funding from the federal government should pass through Congress today, which would offer an additional $310 billion to businesses, many of which are specifically targeted at small operators.