PPP Loans: Owner of Sha-Poppin’ Gourmet Popcorn in Westchester Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Chase Bank

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WESTCHESTER, Ill. (WLS) — Sha-Poppin’ Gourmet Popcorn Shoppe is tucked away in a strip mall on Roosevelt and Mannheim Roads in Westchester. Its owner is now attacking a large bank.

Sha-Poppin’ Gourmet Popcorn Shoppe is tucked away in a strip mall on Roosevelt and Mannheim Roads in Westchester. Its owner is now attacking a large bank.

“Someone needs to speak for small businesses,” said Stacy Hawkins-Armstrong.

Hawkins-Armstrong said Chase delayed his federal loan applications with the Payroll Protection Program. She is now the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against Chase Bank and certain Chase customers.

The lawsuit alleges that Chase was negligent and used deceptive and unfair practices in distributing the PPP loans.

“It was just a brick wall, every time you went there it was a brick wall,” she said.

“It’s shameful,” said Chris Dore, an Edelson PC attorney representing Hawkins-Armstrong.

Dore hopes the litigation will free up cash to distribute to struggling small businesses.

Chase is among four banks sued in California for distributing PPP loans. ABC7 Eyewitness News contacted Chase, but a spokesperson said they declined to comment on ongoing litigation.

In the meantime, Hawkins-Armstrong turned to Seaway Self Help Federal Credit Union, a small community bank, and was able to get PPP money through them.

“It was less than I expected, but it’s something,” she said. “It’s a relief to have something. Something is better than nothing.”

She said the money will help pay her employees, but in the long term the future of her business is uncertain.

In addition to JP Morgan Chase, three other companies are named in the complaint. A spokeswoman for Ruth’s Chris Hospitality Group said these three companies are part of Ruth’s Chris Hospitality Group and have no comment on the lawsuit at this time.

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