Owner Of Ruth's Chris Steak House To Return Small Business Loans

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Ruth's Chris Steak House in Sacramento, CA
Ruth's Chris was one of many larger companies hit with criticism as funds ran dry for small businesses.

The owner of restaurant chain Ruth's Chris Steak House says it will pay back $20 million, after the Treasury Department requested publicly-traded companies return money from the Paycheck Protection Program by May 7.

The program ran out of money less than two weeks after opening for applications, barring thousands of small businesses from applying for federal loans during the coronavirus pandemic. The loans are meant for businesses with less than 500 employees, but certain exemptions made it possible for some large companies to receive money. 

Those companies were hit with criticism as funds ran dry for small businesses. Ruth's was one of the larger businesses that slipped through, locking down two $10 million loans by applying through two subsidiaries.

Moving forward, the Small Business Administration says it's "unlikely that a public company with substantial market value and access to capital markets will be able to make the required certification in good faith."

Shake Shack also announced this week it will return the funds it received

Contains footage from CNN.