14 major companies that have returned millions of dollars acquired through a government relief program meant for small businesses

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Shake Shack was the first company to return funds provided by the Paycheck Protection Program. Irene Jiang/Business Insider

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


Lawmakers demanded that five public companies return Paycheck Protection loans on May 8. Just one, biopharmaceuticals company MiMedx, complied immediately. The other four include: Quantum, EVO Transportation & Energy Services, Gulf Island Fabrication, and Universal Stainless and Alloy Products.

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Marietta, Georiga, where MiMedx is headquartered. Shutterstock

Source: CBS News


Ashford Hospitality Trust, which received one of the largest federal loans, initially stated it planned to keep the $US49.5 million. On May 2, the company announced it would return money.

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Dallas, Texas, where Ashford Hospitality Trust is located. Shutterstock

Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence


Axios, a news site, said it would return its $US4.8 million loan on April 28.

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Arlington, Virginia, where Axios is headquartered. Henryk Sadura/Shutterstock

Source: Axios


The NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers received a $US4.6 million loan through the Paycheck Protection Program. While not a public company, the organisation confirmed that it returned the funds on April 27.

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Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is swarmed by teammates after making several 3-point shots in a row during a game on Feb. 4, 2020. Associated Press

Source: Reuters


IDT Corporation, a telecommunications company based in Newark, said it will return its $US10 million loan on April 27.

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Newark, where the telecom company is based. Mary A. Brown / Getty Images

Source: Washington Post


The popular sandwich chain Potbelly said it would return the $US10 million loan it received on April 25.

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A Potbelly sandwich. Sarah Schmalbruch / INSIDER

Source: Chicago Tribune


AutoNation, the largest car dealership chain in the US, received $US77 million in forgivable loans by applying for at least $US266 million in funds through separate dealerships. It said it would return the funds on April 24.

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Vehicles for sale pictured at the AutoNation Toyota dealership in Cerritos, California. Mario Anzouni/Reuters

Source: Business Insider


J. Alexander’s Holdings, a company comprised of nearly 50 restaurants, said it is returning its $US15.1 million federal loan on April 24. It initially received more than $US10 million because it applied through separate restaurants.

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A J. Alexander’s location in Columbus, Ohio. Eric Glenn/Shutterstock

Source: Nashville Post


Wave Life Sciences, a public biotechnology company based in Singapore with a strong US presence, announced it would return its $US7.2 million federal loan on April 24.

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Singapore, where Wave Life Sciences is based. Ore Huiying / Stringer / Getty Images

Source: Reuters


OptiNose, a public pharmaceutical company in Yardley, Pennsylvania, told CNBC that it would be returning its $US4.4 million loan on April 24.

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Yardley, Pennsylvania, where OptiNose is located. Linda Harms/Shutterstock

Source: CNBC


Steakhouse chain Ruth’s Chris announced on April 23 that it would repay the two loans totaling $US20 million it received under the Paycheck Protection Program.

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A Ruth’s Chris Steak House location in Atlanta, Georgia. Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters

Source: Business Insider, CNBC


The trendy salad chain Sweetgreen is a private company but is still returning its loan to the federal government — it announced on April 22 that it received and returned $US10 million.

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A Sweetgreen salad. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Source: Business Insider


The largest conveyor belt sushi chain in the US, Kura Sushi, said it would return its $US5.98 million loan on April 22.

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Kura Sushi (not pictured) is headquartered in California. progressman / Shutterstock

Source: Forbes,Business Insider


Shake Shack, the beloved burger chain that had nearly $US595 million in revenue last year, announced it would return its $US10 million federal loan on April 20. It was the first company to do so after swift backlash.

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A Shake Shack cheeseburger. Irene Jiang/Business Insider

Source: Business Insider