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Small Restaurants Join Other Small Businesses to Sue Banks Over PPP Loans

Plus, you can now make Ikea meatballs at home, and more news to start your day

Hand written “Closed for Business” sign in the dark window of a shut down restaurant, with space for text on the right Shutterstock

Small businesses say big banks favored businesses seeking larger loan amounts

BNG Restaurant Group, a small frozen yogurt shop, and other small businesses are among those named within four class action lawsuits that accuse banks of unfairly prioritizing which businesses would received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. According to the lawsuits, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and U.S. Bank each “concealed from the public that it was reshuffling the PPP applications it received and prioritizing the applications that would make the bank the most money,” instead of processing applications on a first-come, first-served basis. Which meant businesses seeking smaller loans didn’t get the money they needed.

According to numbers from the Small Business Administration presented in the lawsuits, the banks processed loans for $150,000 and under at twice the rate of larger loans in the three days before PPP money ran out, suggesting they processed larger loans first and waited until the last minute to tackle the smaller ones. The SBA’s PPP fund had already run out of $350 billion just two weeks after it launched, and while Congress is proposing adding another $250 billion to the fund, it’s unclear if or when that would happen. Restaurants and bars have been saying the SBA has provided insufficient relief, and if the banks were reshuffling loans, that’s just one more hurdle.

And in other news...

  • A/C ventilators could have played a role in coronavirus transmission, according to Chinese researchers. [NY Times]
  • You’re probably already fighting with your partner over ridiculous, petty things, so make some IKEA meatballs to fully recreate the Ikea experience. [InsideHook]
  • Postmates will provide cash stipends for childcare for deliverers in California and New York. Workers who make at least 60 deliveries a week will be eligible. [Crain’s New York Business]
  • John Daly joked that vodka could cure COVID-19 (it can’t). Trump Golf retweeted the video. [The Guardian]
  • Ottolenghi is still testing recipes. [NY Times]
  • Soothe yourself by watching Stanley Tucci make a cocktail. [Instagram]
  • Please let this design win:

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