No News is Bad News. Join the SA Current Press Club.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Taco Cabana Owner Says It's Returning $15 Million Borrowed Through Coronavirus Aid Plan

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2020 at 10:07 AM

  • Instagram / Taco Cabana
After snapping up $15 million in federal loans intended to help small employers, the parent company of San Antonio-born Taco Cabana now says it's returning the money.

In a securities filing, Dallas-based Fiesta Restaurant Group said it's repaying $15 million in low-interest loans provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank. The $661 million restaurant group borrowed the funds through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), established to help small businesses retain workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fiesta, which also owns Florida's Pollo Tropical chain, issued a separate filing last week saying it was considering returning the money "in light of the recent guidance" from the U.S. Treasury Department and Small Business Administration.

The guidance in question says companies borrowing through the PPP must show the loans are necessary and that they can't access other funding sources. That clarification seems to rule out publicly traded companies such as Fiesta, since they can raise money by issuing stocks and bonds.

In last week's regulatory filing, Fiesta revealed that it hadn't just obtained a previously reported $10 million loan for Taco Cabana but also $5 million in additional cash for Pollo Tropical.

Major restaurant chains including Fiesta, Shake Shack and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse came under fire earlier this month after the Associated Press revealed they had tapped into the small business program relief program. Many small employers complained that PPP funds were depleted before they could apply, although another round opened this week.

After the flurry of bad publicity, Steak Shack announced plans to return $10 million in PPP borrowings. Ruth's Chris said it will return $20 million in loans. Fiesta has now joined the club.

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

San Antonio Current works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of San Antonio and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep San Antonio's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation