By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Potbelly sandwich chain has received another $10 million loan through the Payment Protection Program.

Chicago-based Potbelly returned the first $10 million it received from the program back in April, amid a backlash that the money was intended for small businesses.

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In a statement to CBS 2, Potbelly said sales remain down from before the coronavirus pandemic:

“Like many in the restaurant industry, Potbelly continues to be significantly impacted by the pandemic. While we’ve stabilized our business over the last few months, we’re still well below pre-COVID sales levels. In addition, the virus continues to create an uncertain environment in many areas of the country.

“We are committed to helping our employees. While we qualified for a loan in the first round of the Payroll Protection Program, we returned it when it looked like many other companies would be left without help. In the next round, the program was about to close with billions of dollars in available funds still remaining.

“To protect our employees’ jobs, and support their families that rely on Potbelly for their livelihoods, we applied for and received a loan. The funds will go to our dedicated employees, to preserving jobs and to keeping shops open.”

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In May, Potbelly Corporation warned that it may have to close up to 100 of its sandwich shops as it suffers during the pandemic.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff