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French Laundry Restaurant Where Newsom Dined Received Over $2.4 Million in PPP COVID Loans

PHOTO: Freepik

By Rebecca Speare-Cole | 16 December 2020

NEWSWEEK — The California restaurant where Gov. Gavin Newsom and San Fransisco Mayor London Breed were spotted dining during a COVID surge, reportedly received $2.4 million in Payment Protection Program (PPP) loans.

The French Laundry, a three Michelin-star restaurant in Younteville, Napa Valley, apparently received two loans which were both approved on April 30 – the first loan for more than $2.2 million to retain 163 employees and the second loan for $194,656 to retain a further five employees.

This was 17 times more than what the average Bay Area restaurant received from the PPP, according to analysis from ABC7.

The PPP was established by the CARES Act of 2020 to help “small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits.” The program was closed in August.

It comes after photos emerged of Newsom dining with at least 10 other people at the French Laundry last month, prompting criticism that the governor was flaunting state guidelines against private meetings in groups from more than three households. Breed then attended an eight-person birthday party at the restaurant just a day later, according to media reports. […]

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