As the government pumps another $310 billion into its latest paycheck-backstop program, critics are pointing the finger at some large companies that have received loans designed to help keep small businesses afloat. Big firms like Dallas-based hotelier Ashford Inc. and the Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurant chain and others availed themselves of millions of dollars through the Paycheck Protection Program, which was laid out to help small companies with 500 employees or fewer survive the coronavirus closures. Large companies were eligible for the loans based on size standards the U.S. Small Business Administration set up in 2016, classifying what counts as a small business for different industries. But for most real estate companies, the measurement isn’t one of employee headcount but instead a matter of gross revenues.
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