Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said large chain restaurants shouldn't have received money under the government's small-business aid scheme.
Large restaurant chains have faced backlash after receiving more than $80 million in COVID-19 relief loans intended for small businesses, while the total amount of $349 billion under the stimulus program ran out last week.
Virus-driven shutdowns have disrupted economic, social, cultural, and religious life and plunged the world into a deep economic slump unseen since the 2008 financial crisis.
Big companies were able to apply for the PPP relief loans under an exemption allowing restaurants and hotels to apply for the funds as long as they didn't have more than 500 employees at one location.
Shake Shack, which has more than 200 branches, received $10 million under the PPP. Ruth's Chris Steak House, with 150 locations, received $20 million in loans.
“We now know that the first phase of the PPP was underfunded, and many who need it most, haven’t gotten any assistance,” the executives wrote.
According to Business Insider, other large restaurant chains that received PPP funds include Potbelly, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Taco Cabana, Fogo de Chao, J. Alexander's, and Kura Sushi.