Following the confusion over which businesses are eligible for COVID-19 emergency loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Ruth’s welcome group (NASDAQ: RUTH) and Shake Shack (NYSE: SHAK) repay their loans. However, according to a CNBC report, at least half a dozen other publicly traded companies are refusing instructions from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to return the funds they have received, and dozens more are wondering. yet if they have to comply.
Shake Shack returned the $ 10 million borrowed from the PPP before the SBA even stepped in. Ruth’s Hospitality, parent company of Ruth’s Chris Steak House and other brands, immediately agreed to return their $ 20 million after the SBA yesterday said publicly traded companies should.
The Treasury Department said publicly traded companies that have received PPP loans but repay them “in full by May 7, 2020 will be considered by the SBA to have made the required certification in good faith.” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also warned during a White House briefing “that there are serious consequences for people who do not properly attest to this certification.”
Nonetheless, six companies contacted by NBC proclaimed that they would not return PPP funds, and about 30 others said they had not yet decided or remained silent. Describing the Treasury Department’s response as “a gut reaction to Shake Shack” and noting that the guidelines determine qualification “in a crass way”, Digimarc Corp. (NASDAQ: DMRC) CEO Bruce Davis said, “The idea that we are a big tech company with access to big capital is wrong” and that giving back PPP funds “would be in breach of fiduciary duty.”
Digimarc has a total of 215 employees and earns approximately $ 23 million per year.
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