Potbelly Among 1,000+ Public Companies Which Received PPP Funds

Public Data Shows Trump SBA Reached Milestone of Approving Over 1,000 PPP Loans for Publicly Traded Companies – Including for Potbelly (Again)

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Potbelly Cashed In On PPP Funds

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune reported that Potbelly, the large restaurant chain that gobbled up $10 million in small business relief funds through Trump’s faulty Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in March and returned it following public backlash, secured a new $10 million loan the day before the program’s expiration. This makes Potbelly, which boasts more than 450 stores and over 5,500 employees nationwide, just one of more than 1,000 publicly traded companies to cash in on PPP funds intended to help mom-and-pop businesses keep their employees on payroll through the COVID-19 crisis.

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According to the most recent disclosures from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Trump’s Small Business Administration (SBA) recently reached a milestone of approving over 1,000 taxpayer-backed PPP loans for publicly traded companies ahead of the August 8 cut off for new applications. All told, at least 1,011 firms were approved for $2,203,555,510 in PPP assistance. This follows warnings to publicly traded companies from President Trump in April against taking PPP loans. As these companies cashed in, thousands of actual small businesses — particularly Black-owned and other minority-owned enterprises — were shut out of the program altogether. And without new data from the SBA since July 6, it’s unclear how many more large companies might’ve run away with the program’s limited pool of taxpayer dollars.

“With over a thousand publicly traded companies cashing in on funds meant to help actual small businesses, it’s clearer than ever that Trump’s Paycheck Protection Program failed to get relief to the people who needed it most,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “And without any new data from the Trump administration on the PPP’s recipients since early July, who knows how many more large companies ran away with funds not intended for them? The next small business relief bill needs to include strong, enforceable oversight measures to ensure that funds go to truly small businesses and their employees — not the wealthy and well-connected.”

Accountable.US has been keeping tabs on these loans as part of its www.COVIDBailoutTracker.com project. Visit the site to learn more.


Accountable.US is a nonpartisan watchdog group that exposes corruption across all levels of government.