My firm was attacked for taking a PPP loan, so we returned it. Now we face layoffs.

While Lindblad is not a mom-and-pop concern, in the context of American public businesses, it is small, with a current market capitalization — the total value of all our shares of stock — of about $300 million. I recognize that seems big to some, but that scale means we have hundreds of jobs to protect, and we clearly met the criteria as laid out in the law. Almost immediately, we were grouped in the media and political discussion with billion-dollar-plus market cap companies with ample access to capital and thousands of employees. This led to concerns from many of our core loyal guests who could not reconcile their view of us as a responsible, environmentally and culturally respectful company with the idea of us taking funds from this program.

We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being approved for a loan that is no longer tenable for us to accept. We have decided to return the loan. Our hope is that the money can be redistributed to the large number of small businesses, especially those in the travel industry — travel agencies, tour operators, app developers, reviewers, local artisans and our extensive supplier network — that most need the assistance to stay in business.

At this moment, we are not able to qualify for other government loans, and access to capital for a company our size is challenging and costly. So to protect the enterprise given the current state of the business, we have to lay off or furlough employees.