Only 14 public companies say they will return small-business coronavirus loans

NY POST

Only a tiny fraction of the publicly traded companies that got coronavirus loans meant for small businesses have pledged to give them back — despite urging from the feds and a public outcry, records show. Just 14 public firms that received a combined $106.8 million through the federal Paycheck Protection Program — which was meant to help Main Street merchants keep workers employed — have said they would return the loans as of late Monday afternoon, according to regulatory filings compiled by data-analysis firm FactSquared. That suggests many of the 234 public companies that received so-called PPP loans will keep them — despite the Small Business Administration urging firms to repay them by May 7. Some companies may still be deciding whether to return their loans while others may have yet to publicly disclose their decision. Among those refusing to return funds are Lindblad Expeditions, a New York-based cruise operator with a $250 million market cap and more than $300 million in revenue last year. The company, which has 650 workers, said it will keep its $6.6 million loan it received. Lindblad said it hasn’t laid off any workers despite the fact that it halted all new trips on March 12.

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