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Shake Shack Returns $10 Million Government Aid

Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE: SHAK) received a USD10 Million SBA loan, which it announced Monday it would be returning. The American fast casual restaurant chain is the first to openly hand back money distributed to aid small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic. 

CEO, Randy Garutti and founder Danny Meyer, disclosed in a blog post that the company had raised around USD150 Million in an equity offering and subsequently would be reimbursing the full loan. The company’s leadership mentioned it made the decision because they are “fortunate to now have access to capital that others do not.” 

“By returning our $10 million, that $10 million can go back into the pot and go to the people that deserve it. We hope it can go inspire the next round,” Garutti said.

The SBA aid package holds USD2.2 Trillion in funds to distribute among those in dire need of the support. The loan is designed to aid small businesses, compensate its workers and permits them to pay its bills so they may reopen efficiently when public health permits it. 

Shake Shack was adamant the money it was given be reassigned to independent restaurants “who need it most, (and) haven’t gotten any assistance.” 

With 189 locations in the U.S alone, Shake Shack divulged it made approximately USD600 Million in revenue for 2019. Nevertheless, according to the company, it closed 120 locations worldwide and laid off 1,000 workers as sales plummeted 28.5% in March.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin admired the burger chain’s action and tweeted Monday he was “glad to see” the company restitute the money.