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Statement: Small Businesses Aghast at Trump stopping COVID Relief Negotiations

Today President Trump announced an end to the stimulus talks with no hope before Election Day. Main Street Alliance Executive Director, Amanda Ballantyne shares this:

“For Trump to stop negotiations on urgently needed relief, stating he will only resume negotiations after he “wins” the election shows callous disregard for millions of Americans suffering extreme financial hardship. The President appears willing to take the economy down with him if he fails, at this point.

Small business owners across the country are aghast at the short sightedness of this refusal to move an aid package. The failed leadership of the Trump Administration to control the pandemic and keep the economy on track will drive many small business owners to close and lead to prolonged economic hardship for working families in this country. Main Street Alliance members and small businesses across the country have been clamoring for months that additional support is necessary to avert a prolonged, protracted, costly and livelihood destroying economic crisis.

Small businesses have waited far too long for needed relief, and the consequences of delay have meant hundreds of thousands of closures impacting the labor market and economy. This is no time for political brinksmanship. Senate Republicans must come to the table and take action.”

Main Street Alliance is a national network of small business coalitions working to build a new voice for small businesses on important public policy issues.

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Boycott Ruth’s Chris trends as Shake Shack gives back PPP loan money

Update 4/25: Ruth’s Chris has agreed to give back the money after a federal announcement that those who misuse the funds will be invesitgated and after hundreds of thousands petitioned for the money to be given back.

Now that Shake Shack has agreed to give back the $10 million they took from small businesses, it’s time to talk about Ruth’s Chris Steak House. To be quite honest, I am not a regular at Ruth’s Chris and have only been there once for a wine dinner.

Regardless – the fact they took $20 million (double the maximum) from the small businesses PPP from taxpayers is also deplorable behavior. Perhaps Ruth’s Chris does not care that people are about to lose their livelihood, I don’t know.

Shake Shack CEO Danny Meyer wrote on LinkedIn that he didn’t intend to take money from small businesses and thought there would be enough, however that’s hard to believe considering that the money was always going to be limited in the first place.

Several chefs rightfully criticized the fact that Shake Shack was able to take the money at all.

The moral ground for Ruth’s Chris to keep the money has now been exposed as Shake Shack gave back what they took and no doubt this is leading for calls for a boycott of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

Petitions are starting to circulate.

Judd Legum has taken a deep dive into Ruth’s Chris and I suggest you read it: https://popular.info/p/a-raw-deal

Obviously there is a bigger Congress issue at bay as well. The small business loan fund is clearly flawed and we need action to demand that the next round of funds which is about to pass actually gets to the small businesses who need them.

Hopefully that happens.