April 28, 2020 / 9:14 PM / a month ago

Escalade repays $5.63 million U.S. government loan

April 28 (Reuters) - Sporting goods and outdoor recreation products retailer Escalade Inc said on Tuesday it had repaid its outstanding $5.63 million loan received as part of the U.S. government's small-business aid.

Several U.S. companies began refusing government loans they were just awarded, after the Treasury Department said that publicly traded firms would have a hard time proving they really needed the coronavirus relief funds.

This follows public backlash after some large well-funded companies were granted millions of dollars from the fund, while many small businesses were unable to access any funding at all.

Restaurant operators Shake Shack Inc and Kura Sushi USA Inc were among the companies that returned loans from an initial tranche of the program.

"Although Covid-19 continues to create substantial uncertainty and hardship throughout the world, we repaid our loan as a result of new guidelines from the Small Business Administration," Escalade Chief Executive Officer Scott Sincerbeaux said in a statement.

The loan, provided under the Paycheck Protection Program, is designed to support businesses having no more than 500 employees to cover their employee payroll and rent, as large swaths of the economy have been shut down to keep the coronavirus from spreading. (Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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