After repaying a $ 10 million payment protection program (PPP) loan in April, Chicago-based Potbelly secured a second PPP loan. Potbelly, the struggling sandwich chain that opened its first restaurant in 1977 in Lincoln Park, received a $ 10 million loan on August 7. according to Crain’s. In April (for the first round of the PPP), the federal government made a loan of the same amount, but Potbelly repaid the money after critics said the company was taking funds that should be earmarked for small businesses.
There are over 400 Potbelly locations across America. This time around, Potbelly’s management said they needed to take advantage of the expanded PPP. Unclaimed funds from the programs flow back to the Treasury Department, and Potbelly officials say small businesses have had a better opportunity on how to file bankruptcy to receive a loan. Recipients of PPP loans can spend the money on payroll, workers’ health benefits, as well as mortgage, rent, and utilities. Potbelly did not say how he would spend the money, but said it would help workers keep their jobs by keeping stores open. There have been two cycles of the PPP, the last one expiring earlier in August.
Potbelly provided this statement:
“Like many in the restaurant industry, Potbelly continues to be significantly affected by the pandemic. Although we have stabilized our business over the past few months, we are still well below pre-COVID sales levels. In addition, the virus continues to create an uncertain environment in many parts of the country. We are committed to helping our employees. Although we qualified for a loan in the first phase of the payroll protection program, we paid it off when it looked like many more businesses would be left without help. In the next round, the program was about to end with billions of dollars in available funds remaining. To protect the jobs of our employees and support their families who depend on Potbelly for their livelihood, we applied for and got a loan. The funds will go to our dedicated employees, preserving jobs and keeping stores open. “
In other news …
– Sad news from Little Village where the neighborhood mourns the death of a beloved street vendor killed after a car hit him on August 2. A Chicago police car was chasing the vehicle that would kill Jose Almanz, report it Tribune. For 25 years, Alamanz sold peanuts and caramelized pecans (garapiñados). He sent the money he earned as a street vendor to Mexico where his family lived. They used this money to pay for their sons’ college education. A suspect has been arrested and charged, according to the Tribe.
– Beard Award winner Chef Mindy Segal has been released from running a restaurant. She closed HotChocolate in Bucktown in April, but got busy with a weekend pickup window in the old restaurant. Customers have to get up early on Saturdays to grab bagels, French toast, cookies and other treats before the pastries run out. For those who are busy on the weekends, Segal teams up with Debbie Sharpe who runs Goddess & the Grocer, a few doors south on 1649 N. Damen Avenue. Segal’s baked goods will appear from 8 a.m. to noon on Thursday August 20 and Friday August 21 at Goddess. Find bagels, bialy, sweet and savory danishes, and croissants. In other related news, Segal speak a little why she thinks her cannabis edibles taste better than others.
– And finally, Goose Island Beer Co. last week unveiled its 2020 Bourbon County Barrel Stout range. For Black Friday, the brewery will release seven BCBS beers. In addition to the original, beer lovers see Bourbon County Kentucky Fog Stout (black licorice, white pepper, citrus, flowers, graham crackers), Bourbon County Special # 4 Stout (coffee, vanilla, toasted nuts, cocoa, maple) , Bourbon County Caramella Ale (creamy caramel, red apple, cinnamon, funnel cake), Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout (cherry cocktail, pistachio, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak), Birthday Bourbon County Stout (chocolate, vanilla, maple, berries, cinnamon) and Anniversary Bourbon County Stout (chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, burnt sugar, oak, dried black fruit). the Tribune Josh Noel shares his thoughts. But without the vaccine, the annual queues outside liquor stores on Black Friday don’t seem very safe due to COVID-19. Goose is aware of the situation and has issued a statement:
“Our flagship Black Friday BCS outing is special for Goose Island and we hope to be able to celebrate our great city of Chicago alongside our fans again this year. We continue to monitor the current situation to ensure the safety of our fans and employees is at the center of our plans. Plans are underway, but details are subject to change and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this situation. “