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Photo: John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Ruth's Hospitality Group, which owns the Ruth's Chris Steak House, says the company will return the $20 million it received from the small business relief program, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The multimillion-dollar company, which has over 100 steakhouses in North America, secured $10 million in loans for each of its two subsidiaries. It was able to secure the money because it has fewer than 500 employees at each location. The ordeal has sparked backlash and highlighted the loopholes in the hastily written relief package.

What's happening: The Treasury Department has asked other publicly traded companies to repay the loans they received from the Paycheck Protection Program, which had aimed to help small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

What they're saying:

“We intended to repay this loan in adherence with government guidelines, but as we learned more about the funding limitations of the program and the unintended impact, we have decided to accelerate that repayment.”
— Ruth's Chris President and CEO Cheryl J. Henry, per CNBC

Note: Axios qualified for a loan under this program. More details here.

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.