Coca-Cola, UPS, Dunkin' and other brands press Congress to drop proposed PPP changes

Coca-Cola, UPS, Dunkin' and other brands press Congress to drop proposed PPP changes
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Nearly 200 franchise brands are calling on Congress to expand access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) on behalf of their franchise owners while negotiations are underway over a revenue reduction threshold in the next coronavirus relief package.

The Senate Republicans’ proposed bill, released last week, included a provision that would limit the loans to businesses that have lost at least 50 percent of their revenue compared to a previous year’s quarter.

The brands, including Coca-Cola, UPS and Dunkin’, signed a letter to congressional leadership organized by the International Franchise Association (IFA) on Thursday calling for the threshold to be lowered. 

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“Many small businesses like the ones in our systems operate on slim margins. For them, a revenue decline could mean the difference between staying in business or closing. For their employees, this revenue decline could mean the difference between remaining at work and receiving benefits or joining our nation’s too-high number of unemployed people,” the brands wrote.

Other brands on the letter included Orange Theory, Drybar, Cinnabon, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Roy Rogers, Great Clips, Haagen-Dazs, and Ben & Jerry’s.

Over 100,000 franchise businesses have had revenue declines during the coronavirus pandemic between 25 percent and 50 percent, according to market research firm FRANData. 

“This letter highlights the overwhelming need for additional relief for franchise small businesses,” Matt Haller, IFA senior vice president of government relations and public affairs, said in a statement. “The small businesses that comprise these brands have worked to create a safe, clean, and compliant environment for their customers and employees alike, often while operating at a greatly reduced capacity.”

The National Restaurant Association had the same ask on Monday and told congressional leaders that if the threshold is lowered to a 20 percent reduction, 430,000 restaurants could qualify for a second loan.

The $3 trillion House-passed HEROES Act, which Senate Republicans declined to take up, includes the same 50 percent restriction.