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The owner of the Ruth's Chris Steak House chain received $20 million in government-backed forgivable loans to help retain its staff, according to a regulatory filing, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the restaurant industry.
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Ruth's Hospitality Group Inc., which operates or franchises more than 150 restaurants, disclosed that two of its subsidiaries received $10 million from JPMorgan Chase, "primarily for payroll costs," according to the filing.
The loans came on April 7, just four days after applications for the Small Business Administration's $349 billion Payroll Protection Program opened. The maximum loan under the PPP is $10 million.
The Ruth's Chris parent earned profit of $42 million in its 2019 budget year on sales of $468 million.
The payroll loans, part of the government's $2.2 trillion CARES Act, are designed to get cash in the hands of small businesses devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and incentivize them to keep staff on payroll or rehire workers who have already been laid off. They also can be used for rent, mortgage interest and utilities.
The company, like so many others, had to curtail operations at locations across the nation to limit the economic fallout created by the pandemic.
On Monday, SBA reported that more than 959,000 applications had been approved for over $232 billion from the program used to blunt economic hardships created by the spread of the virus.
Ruth's Hospitality Group didn't respond to FOX Business' request for comment.
This story contains material from the previous FOX Business reports. The Associated Press contributed to this report.