A new report released by S&P Global Market Intelligence found that 134 publicly traded companies got access to $550.6 million of federal stimulus loans for small business.
The report noted that Sen. Marco Rubio responded with a statement that his congressional committee would use subpoena power to conduct “aggressive oversight” of borrowers’ certifications. In addition, the report stated that on April 23, “the Treasury Department updated a guidance document to suggest that big public companies are unlikely to qualify for the loans.”
Ashford Hospitality Trust claimed the largest PPP loan, of $30.1 million, followed by Meritage Hospitality Group, which claimed $29.1 million. Ruth’s Hospitality Group also racked up a large loan, of $20 million.
Other publicly traded companies that received loans worth more than $10 million included Braemar Hotels & Resorts, which received $15.8 million, and J. Alexander’s Holdings, which received $15.1 million. In all, 13 public companies got loans worth at least $10 million apiece.
JPMorgan Chase processed $145.9 million worth of PPP loans for publicly traded companies — the most of any bank. 
The report also noted that certification for the PPP loans differs from the SBA 7(a) program that predates the pandemic, which requires that all applicants state they can’t access credit elsewhere. 
For example, Shake Shack was widely criticized when it announced a $150 million equity raise around the same time it received a $10 million PPP loan. On April 20, the company announced that it would be returning the loan.
The initial $349 billion aid package for small businesses was exhausted by April 16, less than two weeks after being rolled out.