SEATTLE — Seattle chef and award-winning restaurant owner Edouardo Jordan said he hopes a new round of federal loan money, meant to keep workers employed during the coronavirus crisis, will reach neighborhood businesses like his, which received no help from the most recent relief package.
“I think this is a moment that all of us need to be loud, make some noise,” Jordan said, Monday, after documenting his struggles on Instagram.
His restaurant, JuneBaby, helped earn him a spot among the country's best chefs, but now Jordan is going through the same hardships as cafes, bars, and bistros on nearly every block, which have had to lay off staff during the stay-at-home order.
“It's a huge impact, our revenue is nowhere near the same,” Jordan said.
He said he applied for a federal loan to help him get by, but that application went nowhere, and then the money ran out.
"It was a disaster, to be very honest," he said.
Jordan and other chefs are frustrated because the law allowed Ruth's Chris Steak House and Potbelly Sandwich Shop to secure tens of millions of dollars of loans.
“It's kind of embarrassing that a benefit was out there for small businesses and you have large corporations gobbling up all the funds,” he said.
Shake Shack received a $10 million federal loan, but after a crush of negative feedback the company said it would give the money back.
There's now a petition calling on Ruth's Chris to do the same.