Less than two weeks ago, the federal government launched the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, aimed at keeping small businesses afloat as the coronavirus pandemic forces an unprecedented shutdown of the nation’s economy.
Among those that qualified for the loans — businesses with fewer than 500 workers may borrow up to 2 1/2 times their payroll, or up to $10 million — is Potbelly Sandwich Shops, a Chicago-based chain with restaurants throughout the country.
On April 10, the sandwich shop secured a $10 million loan from JPMorgan Chase through the program at an interest rate of 0.98 percent, according to a new regulatory filing. The company said the money will go toward “qualifying expenses” in the Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
The money can be used for payroll and other expenses, like insurance premiums, mortgages, rent or utilities through June 30. The loans, which are guaranteed by the federal government, will be fully forgiven if 75 percent of the money goes toward keeping workers employed and maintaining salary levels, according to the Small Business Administration. If the headcount declines, or salaries and wages decrease, forgiveness will be reduced.