Loudoun County restaurant owner speaks at the White House about the success of the PPP loan

Tony Stafford, owner of Ford's Fish Shack, spoke at the White House on Tuesday. 

A Loudoun County restaurant owner attended an event at the White House Tuesday to speak about the effects of the COVID-19 shutdown on restaurants and the success of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll during the coronavirus outbreak, according to SBA.gov. The Small Business Administration will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.

Speaking before President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday, Tony Stafford, chef and owner of Ford's Fish Shack, said he was able to rehire over 100 employees who had been laid off once he was approved for the new government funded loan.

"Over the last six weeks, my three restaurants have been devastated by dining room closures. I had to furlough over 100 people," Stafford said. "That was an incredibly hard phone call to make and tell my employees that we just don't have a space for you. I've never had to lay off a single employee. It was extremely hard, very emotional, and one of the hardest choices I've ever had to make."

Stafford promised his employees he would do his best to bring them back, saying he would "fight every day tooth and nail."

Stafford said it has been "awesome to be able to tell them we're going to weather this storm."

"We're going to get through this and we're going to be stronger and more agile once this is over, I look forward to the one day when all restaurants and all small businesses can reopen and be as successful as they were before," he said.

Stafford did not wish to disclose the loan amount his company received through the PPP.

Ford's Fish Shack operates restaurants in Ashburn, South Riding and Lansdowne.  

(32) comments


Fauci is not running for president, Schiff and the Dems are not in charge of Federal preparedness. There is only one person in charge.

For those of you who seem incapable of understanding leadership, the fact is the buck starts and stops at the presidents desk. Of course when the President doesn't accept responsibility and you're completely in the tank for him, your lack of clear thinking is understandable.

He on the other hand, just looks like a 6th grade weenie who doesn't do his homework and then complains that the pop quiz isn't fair to him.

November cometh......


The enemy is this virus, not Republicans or Democrats. The hatred is great and horrifying. Let's rally behind our government, regardless of party. Stop spreading hate and let's come together as the great country that we are! God bless you, this county, state and country and focus on what is positive!!!


I think it's OK to say you think our leaders could be doing a better job. No need to get into what their politics might be. Just stick to discussing the results...


Oh come on, My pillow guy, who the BBB changed MyPillow's rating from an A+ to an F and revoked its accreditation over advertising that customers said was misleading about pricing. Darius Adamczyk of Honeywell, Debra Waller of Jockey International, David Taylor of Procter & Gamble and Greg Hayes of United Technologies. Now this sham with Ford's Fish Shack. What is going on up there?


"holding government responsible for shutdown" ?? Agree; the WH had early warnings from the INtel community in Jan and Feb and sat on the info....did nothing to prepare, downplayed the threat "it's just one case...or "only 15 cases" "it will go away soon.

let's hold him to account....oh, right, November is just around the corner.


LC - Know who else had the info? The head of the House Intel committee. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)

Want to know what he did with that info. NOTHING. He continued to push for impeachment. Never once he he act on the information.

Smart people like you keep saying listen to the scientists. What was our top scientist recommending to the American public all the way into March? I am sure you can quote what Dr. Fauci was saying.


one small difference is that Adam Schiff isn't the leader of the free world. Your orange clown is, unfortunately.

pual mase

Every health organization like the CDC. WHO, NIH, Fauci was downplaying the risk in January and February and Trump took action to restrict Chinese travel DESPITE advise from the “experts”. Moreover, the democrats completely missed the ball focusiing on impeachment and criticizing trump’s China travel ban. The White House actually held a congressional briefing on the virus and almost no one showed up because they were getting their impeachment questions ready.

And you want to put the dems in charge? What a crock!


and while the president was trying to block planes full of people fleeing the virus in China, the Dems were out walking the streets of Chinatown telling people that there was no threat. NY mayor told people to go ahead and have parades and parties, and look what that did. No side is perfect, no human could fort ell exactly what was was going to happen, But the majority of the issues came from the Dem's telling people to ignore the President, because it was Trump talking. They could literally be on fire and deny it and would refuse a fire extinguisher if it came from Trump.


God Bless you people here without TDS and thank you for the support. Together we who love this country and cherish the opportunities that it offers so many, will get through this and come back even stronger. Remember we take risks everyday. Life is a risk. I put my life, just like so many do, in the hands of people texting and driving and crossing a double yellow line where I have to swerve to avoid being in a head on collision, further more my wife, was in one because of that and a poorly maintained rural road. Again thank you for the support, true Americans do not shrink and cower from a challenge we all rise up to it. God Bless America and thankful we have a President that has been true to Americans who love this country and have given so much. Nothing is perfect, but the love and passion for each one of us is seen everyday by this tireless President. A very refreshing change from the previous person who stunk up the White House for 8 years. Also God Bless Michael Flynn, soon and already to be shown that he was set-up by the deep state and hopefully the Comeys, Brennans, Clappers, Steeles and others will soon find themselves in quarantine in an orange jump suit. It is where they belong. Michael Flynn protected all of us and this country. He deserves our appreciation, respect and thanks.


God bless you and this country.


Most people who believe in a Christian God would bless everyone and not judge. Who doesn't love the country? Wrong in so many ways.


Now you're the representatives for "most" Christians? We'll just add that to the long list....


why doesn't he want to reveal the amount of his loan? it's OUR tax dollars.

if he's proud enough to speak at the WH, he should be proud to tell what he received

More Cowbell

@loudounlackscommonsense, I received $215K for PPP loan. In my lifetime of working, my wife working, paying property taxes and business tax, I'd say I've paid in over $2 million in taxes to federal, state and county. And not a dime will go into my pocket. It will be used for rent(3 months at $21K each month), payroll to cover 2 months+, which is about $140K(of which federal and state taxes will be withheld). I don't have accountants/attorneys. I work a full time job in Intel(we've been extremely busy for various reasons, 60-70 hours/week going into office) and staying on top of PPP loan, I spent 5-10 hours getting all the documents together and making sure they were all up to date because our corrupt politicians in Congress decided to keep changing the rules.


Wow cow, I have a new insight. You are a responsible business owner and I'll bet your employees appreciate it. Good example, I wish more wold follow it.

More Cowbell

amerigirl, we are. I do their income taxes, I've helped 2 employees get a house, I've co-signed on 2 leases and a car loan(otherwise they would have been charged like 12-15%, vs 2.9%. We try to help them budget their money and over half are enrolled in our 401K.


You work in Intel and you don't realize that Trump is far more corrupt than anyone in Congress? Yikes...


What a sad little world you live in where everything is political. I am sure you will never eat at Fords again.


Absolutely agree MC, so the Governor and local government needs to quit shutting these places down. Time to open back up. Just so you know anytime I say that I am accused by AG and others of "purposely wanting to spread the virus", which of course is not true. I have posted numerous information from the bio 4 lab in Frederick recently in the news with their amazing work to support my comments. Sunshine on your body and face and UV and humidity and heat being one of the many things I have said all along coming from the molecular biologist in our family. You are right and we need to hold these local governments and Governor responsible for their actions against businesses. Open America Back Up, Keep America Independent, Keep America Manufacturing in America and most of all God Bless the United States of America!

More Cowbell

The problem is PPP will only help small businesses thru May, basically covering Rent, Payroll, other expenses from March 20 to end of May. If businesses are shutdown any longer, then either govt will have to do a 3rd round of handouts or many businesses will go under. You have to factor in that businesses opening in May, June and July will be lucky to get back to 50% because of social distancing and the additional cost to make sure all businesses are thoroughly clean/sanitized.


Wow, great positive article thank you LTM. One of hopefully many to come as the amazing job of the federal government to quickly pull together relief for so many that have been shut down by Virginia's Governor. Hopefully we can hear some stories about single/sole proprietors that have benefited since their only employee to run their entire business is themselves. The PPP passed by Trump so quickly will save so many that want to come back to work and were forbidden to. Open America Back Up, Keep America Small Businesses Open and Growing and Make America Manufacturing Independent. It is the only way to protect all of us from the China's of the world just waiting to unleash their next pandemic virus.


"....amazing job of the federal government..." You're joking, right?


Yea, what's your problem?


@BLT - He/She’s not joking... just obviously not blinded by hatred and TDS. Put aside your hate, turn off CNN and MSNBC and you’ll realize that things would be a heck of a lot worse if Trump and his team of experts weren’t doing everything they can to protect Americans. The original projections were 2.2 million deaths. Current predictions are closer to 70,000. Sounds like they’re doing a damn good job so far. Perfect? Of course not. This pandemic is unprecedented. Now is not the time for hateful political rhetoric. STOP.


What amazing job? If you mean that job is making sure the rich are getting most of the money and not the real small business owners that need it. Love how they gave it to them, got caught, and now want it back, like that is going to happen. Ashford Inc., Ashford Hospitality Trust and Braemar Hotels & Resorts, all of which are tied to Texas hotel mogul Monty Bennett, said they will not return a total of $69 million received through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), The Associated Press reported. Of the 41 biggest publicly traded companies six said they had no plans to return the funds, five said they will (or had) returned the money, while 30 either did not respond or said their decision was pending.

pual mase

AG you must be talking about the PPP law that the Dem congress passed.

Despite your monday morning quarterbacking criticism, even these relatively large did follow the law and the funds will keep the employees of these companies to remain employed. But in your eyes big business is always the bad guy even when they create jobs .


Agree 100%


Pual, did you even bother to look at the bill and who added what? The House had provisions in the bill that if you made more than 1 million last year that you were not eligible. The republicans removed that or they wouldn’t let it pass and now they are trying to get the money back since the democrats made a big deal of how many millions went to people that didn’t need it. Those people, let me repeat, did NOT need it, some had just received credit loans and took it anyway. It was meant for small businesses or do you want to dispute that too?

pual mase

You are on target Hardworking.

Don’t let these liberal complainers get away with their BS.


I think BLT is remembering how our President didn't bother with the daily briefings in January that told him about this virus, what it could do to America and why we needed a plan. I think BLT is focused on statements like "We have 15 cases...soon it will be zero." Could be BLT is remembering that when Trump should have been leading the fight against this virus he instead wasted weeks tweeting about how it was a Democratic hoax. That's probably the sort of thing that makes BLT say that praising Trump's handling of this crisis must be an attempt at humor...


Yeah, don't let the truth bring you down, blame everything on the liberals.

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