Image: BLT steak

The pandemic has claimed another victim, or maybe I should say victims because multiple restaurants are involved. BLT Restaurant Group, parent company of BLT Steak and BLT Prime, has found itself forced to file for Chapter 11.

The bankruptcy filing came in the aftermath of the federal government’s refusal to forgive 60% of the $3.3 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan the company had received in 2020. The purpose of the plan, which ended on May 31, 2021, was to enable businesses hurt by the pandemic to “restart and engage” and entice employees who had been laid off to return to work.

According to the bankruptcy filing:

The company continued its operations at a loss based on a hope that bills introduced in Congress would allow the debtor to extend the covered period for its first loan and/or grant additional funding for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. With the passage of the recent budget bill, those hopes are no longer reasonable and debtor has no other option than to file for bankruptcy.