By Walt Hickey Fast Food Paycheck Protection Program loans were designed for small businesses with fewer than 500 employees, and $660 billion were disbursed of which $30 billion went to 255,050 restaurants. However, lots of those restaurants weren’t the independent ones you have in mind, but rather franchisees of popular chains — in some cases with hundreds of locations, in other cases through subsidiaries — that nevertheless qualified for the program. An examination of 378 PPP loans over $3 million in the fast food and fast casual sector turned up Taco Bells, Wendy’s, Pizza Huts, McDonald’s and more, with franchisees of large, well-capitalized chains getting over $1 billion of the money. Indeed, of those 255,050 restaurants that participated, 1 percent of the recipients got 24.5 percent of the money.
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