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Mark Cuban Says Shake Shack Returned $10M Only After 'Public Outcry'

Mark Cuban Says Shake Shack Returned $10M Only After 'Public Outcry'

Casual fast food chain Shake Shack Inc (NYSE: SHAK) returned a $10-million federal grant but only after realizing there was a "public outcry," billionaire investor Mark Cuban said Monday on CNBC's "Fast Money."

Cuban Says Move Threatens Shake Shack Brand 

Shake Shack took advantage of a $10-million loan as part of the Paycheck Protection Program, but returned the cash after saying it will access capital through the public markets.

But doing so at the corporate level is something that can "kill" the Shake Shack brand, Cuban said. Had this action been taken by individual Shake Shack franchise owners, it would have been otherwise acceptable, he said. 

"There's so many different ways to approach it," Cuban said. "They don't need to take money that should be available to really small businesses."

Cuban Says Taxpayers Need Fair Deal

Restaurant chains, hospitality companies and large entertainment providers should very much have access to some form of government aid, Cuban said. The deal needs some strings attached,  with the ultimate objective of benefiting the American taxpayer, he said. 

"There needs to be [stock] warrants, there needs to be equity, there needs to be options, needs to be preferred stocks," Cuban said. "Whatever it is, someone's got to negotiate a good deal for taxpayers."

Whenever the economy starts to rebound, be it in one year, two years or three years, a revamped stimulus program with strings attached will prove to be a "good investment for the taxpayer," Cuban says. 

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Photo courtesy of Shake Shack. 


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