Fort Worth chef Tim Love joined other restaurant industry officials at the White House on Monday to express concerns about the terms of the Payment Protection Program.
At the meeting, Love was joined by Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta; José Cil, president of Burger King, Melvin Rodrigue of Galatoire’s in New Orleans, and several others, including White House officials.
Chief amongst Tim Love’s complaints was the criteria for complete forgiveness of the PPP loan. Rules of the loan state that expenses covered by the load are only eligible over an eight-week period. Love argued that in states like Texas, where reopening is being phased in over a longer term, eight weeks just isn’t enough time. Love and the other restauranteurs instead asked that the period be extended to 24 weeks.
“If we could get the 24 weeks, which gets us to October 31 basically, this allows us to get the young restaurateurs going and spend the money that you intended for them so that we can get out and show them what a great job you guys are doing,” Love said to Trump. Love also took issue with the rule stating that 75% of the loan money must be spent on payroll, noting that some restaurants pay more than 25% of their revenue in rent.
Mostly, Love was effusive towards Trump, saying that his work to restart the economy would help essential workers and restaurant employees realize what a great leader he was.
“The way we get the economy going is getting the workers back to work so they’re able to spend money and earn money, so therefore, we can keep the economy moving,” Love said. “And I think you can get a lot of people in our industry — the workers, the people that work very, very hard — to get behind you just to show that kind of confidence.”