Soho House Received Up to $22 Million in Pandemic-Linked Loans

Soho House & Co., the global private members club reportedly valued at $2 billion, received six different small-business loans from the Paycheck Protection Program totaling as much as $22 million.

The loans went to separate locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and New York, and were between $350,000 and $10 million each, according to data released on Monday. The program is meant to help small businesses navigate the coronavirus slump when they have limited access to other capital.

Soho House saved 1,996 jobs across five locations with the loans, according to the disclosures. Separately, the company also secured a $100 million investment from new and existing shareholders last month, and has pushed ahead with plans to expand by cutting executive pay and employee hours. Soho House, backed by billionaire Ron Burkle, is participating in government loan and furlough programs “around the world,” the company said in a statement.

“We are, like so many businesses, racking up losses every day,” according to the statement. “Banks and landlords have deferred payments, shareholders have injected money, suppliers have been flexible, our senior team has taken pay cuts that have been invested into a Soho Impact Support Fund and, crucially, our incredible members have stayed loyal to our Houses and the teams that work there.”

The hospitality industry has struggled throughout the pandemic, which has brought travel restrictions and limits on businesses. However, Soho House, a favorite hangout spot of movie stars and billionaires, has continued to collect dues from members.

Soho House Chief Executive Officer Nick Jones told the Financial Times last week that “nothing stopped” because of the pandemic and it will stick to plans to open locations this year in Mykonos, Greece; London; Tel Aviv; and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. He said the company still has an 18-month waiting list for new members and — thanks to new fundraising and cost cuts — has managed to stay afloat. Jones didn’t mention the use of the PPP loans, which were approved on April 11 and came from Centric Bank, according to the disclosures.

Hospitality companies like Soho House were allowed to apply for a PPP loan as long as they had fewer than 500 employees per location. Still, its use of the program may attract scrutiny. Burger chain Shake Shack Inc. returned a $10 million loan to the government after it attracted criticism for using a program designed to help small businesses.

Soho House said it’s using the loans to cover payroll expenses and is providing full medical insurance to its U.S. workers.

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