Apr 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Shake Shack returning entire $10 million PPP loan

Customers wait for to-go orders outside Shake Shack in Miami Beach, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Shake Shack will return its entire $10 million Paycheck Protection Program loan from the federal government that it received as part of the coronavirus stimulus bill, the burger chain's leaders said in a LinkedIn post Sunday night.

Why it matters: The New York-based firm was among several restaurant chains to attract criticism for taking the loan, designed to protect small businesses from the fallout of lockdowns and other restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

What they're saying: "The "PPP" came with no user manual and it was extremely confusing," said Danny Meyer, Shake Shack's founder and CEO of its parent company, Union Square Hospitality Group, and Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti in the statement.

  • "Shake Shack was fortunate last Friday to be able to access the additional capital we needed to ensure our long term stability through an equity transaction in the public markets," they continued.
  • "We're thankful for that and we've decided to immediately return the entire $10 million PPP loan we received ... so that those restaurants who need it most can get it now."
"We now know that the first phase of the PPP was underfunded, and many who need it most, haven't gotten any assistance. ... Our people would benefit from a $10 million PPP loan but we’re fortunate to now have access to capital that others do not. Until every restaurant that needs it has had the same opportunity to receive assistance, we're returning ours."

What he's saying: When asked about big publicly traded firms being deemed eligible for PPP funds, President Trump noted at Sunday's briefing that "a lot of times they’re owned by franchisees, where they own one or two places, so a lot of that would depend on what the formula is."

Go deeper: Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer discusses the decision on Axios Pro Rata Podcast

Go deeper

Family-commissioned autopsy says George Floyd's death was homicide

Police watch as demonstrators block a roadway while protesting the death of George Floyd in Miami. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

An independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to a statement from the family's attorney.

Why it matters: The autopsy contradicts preliminary findings from the Hennepin County medical examiner, who found “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation,” according to charging documents against Chauvin.

Updated 34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets

President Trump berated the nation’s governors in a video teleconference call Monday, calling many of them "weak" and demanding tougher crackdowns on the protests that erupted throughout the country following the killing of George Floyd, according to audio of the call.

The latest: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a briefing Monday that Trump's call for law enforcement to "dominate" protesters referred to "dominating the streets" with a robust National Guard presence in order to maintain the peace.

2 hours ago - World

Kremlin says Trump discussed inviting Russia to G7 in call with Putin

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at their bilateral meeting at the G20 Osaka Summit 2019, in Osaka, Japan in 2019. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on Monday about Trump's plans to expand September's G7 meeting in Washington to include Russia, according to the Russian government's readout of the call.

The big picture: The phone call between the two leaders, which the Kremlin says was initiated by Trump, comes amid six consecutive days of mass unrest in the U.S. over police brutality and racial inequality. The White House confirmed the call took place and said a readout was forthcoming.