PPP Loans - Small Business Vaccine and Corporate Sting


  • Clayton Markham
  • Timothy Williams
  • Spencer Gooch


As a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the U.S. Government passed the CARES Act. One key aspect of the Act was the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), whose primary purpose was to provide relief to struggling small businesses and retain employment levels through the use of forgivable loans. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, in 2020, over 383,000 PPP loans totaling just under $42.5 Million went to the Accommodation and Food Services industry. As intended, most loans went to small businesses; however, a few large public corporations faced severe public backlash after applying to and accepting PPP loans. A legislative loophole allowed individual restaurants to qualify, even if their parent corporation did not. We analyzed quarterly financial statements from March 2019 through December 2020 of 23 public companies in the restaurant industry, including eight that accepted PPP payments. We noted whether any subsidiary or franchisee applied for, received, or returned a PPP loan. We present an analysis of key metrics from the quarterly financial statements.