Government Shutdown Is Hurting Franchisees: Fat Brands CEO

January 16, 2019
Updated 2mo ago

By Christian Smith

As the partial federal government shutdown enters enters its 27th day, American businesses are beginning to feel the strain.

For Fat Brands Inc. ($FAT) ー which owns a number of fast food brands Fatburger, among them ー the consequences of the shutdown are slowly trickling up to corporate, but president and CEO Andy Wiederhorn said franchisees are thus far bearing the brunt of the shutdown.

"I think it's really much harder on the franchise operators because they're trying to build stores they've already started to build, or they've got a lease signed up and now they need their loan to get going for construction," Wiederhorn said Wednesday in an interview with Cheddar.

With the Small Business Administration closed, small businesses are unable to access SBA-backed loans. The SBA usually manages over 300 loans each day, which The Washington Post reported amounts to roughly $200 million worth of loans for small and midsize businesses.

Small business owners in need of capital during the shutdown must turn to other sources of funding, such as non-SBA-backed loans, which generally come with higher interest rates.

But Wiederhorn noted that every sector of business ー even the major players ー is experiencing negative side effects.

"It's affecting everybody, not just small business, but large business," he said. "It's really very difficult."

For full interview click here.