Famous Youtube creators were able to get small business loans after the pandemic left many of these large creator-based companies unable to pay their employees. But after further research, we were left wondering if the loans were being used properly by these YouTubers.
The YouTubers who applied and received these Payment Protection Program (PPP) loans, included major names such as Mr. Beast and Jeffree Star. This caused some controversy as people are questioning if they should have even received the money to begin with.
Mr. Beast is a popular YouTube creator, flaunting over 42 million subscribers. His videos consist of click-bait challenges with contestants winning large cash prizes upwards of $1 million and other prizes including houses and lamborghinis. Outside of his lavish YouTube competitions, he donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities and people in need, which is often documented on his YouTube channel.
Donating to charities is always commendable, especially if you have the platform and means to do so, but there are many videos on his channel consisting of his friends competing in challenges and winning prizes up to $800,000.
Peoples heads began to turn, when the news came out that Mr. Beast’s YouTube company got between $350,000 and $1 million in pandemic relief funds. Knowing his history, people were cautious about how he was actually going to use the money. A tweet by @barmaidalexis stated, “Love that Mr. Beast is taking funds for what’s basically a lottery channel, but none of the small restaurants I knew could get a loan.” And they have a valid reason to feel distressed by extremely popular YouTubers like Mr. Beast receiving these large small business loans.
Mr. Beast is not the only one who caught people’s attention around this issue. The infamous-as-ever Jeffree Star was yet another content creator who also took advantage of the PPP loans.
Jeffree Star has over 17 million subscribers on YouTube. He also owns the multi-million dollar company Jeffree Star Cosmetics that is sold online and in stores. He, just as Mr. Beast, received between $350,000 and $1 million dollars in relief funds.
People are concerned that big companies, like Star Cosmetics, are able to receive large sums of money in relief loans, while smaller businesses that actually need the money, are not receiving anything from the Payment Protection Program.
One tweet by @jean_mate1 says, “Jeffree Star received federal relief loans that were meant for small businesses! Excuse me? Why are people who already make a good amount of money getting these relief loans? It’s not for them.”
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When I used to sleep on my friends couch and drive my 1991 Nissan Sentra to work every day, I never imagined in my wildest dreams I would become a car collector 💯 This is my new McLaren #Senna with all custom @tiffanyandco paint and leather interior and truly a DREAM come true!! 💎 #mclaren #MSO #jeffreestarcosmetics #mclarensenna
With Jeffree Star’s net worth around $200 million and his constant flaunting of designer bags and custom painted sports cars, it is no surprise people are upset and rattled by his cashing in of the relief fund.
Many other people took to Twitter to voice their frustration on the issue
How tf are you flexing while taking federal relief loans out of the hands of small businesses?!?
— Dan 🧸 (@yaaauur) September 10, 2020
Just a reminder that Jefree Star’s company applied/was approved for a ppp small business loan while jeffree himself bought a new super car, a ranch and multiple designer items etc. why do u need $1 million from the government?? Tax payers aren’t meant to fund ur business u are
— luna (@lunaramart) September 11, 2020
It is important to remember that both of these companies are almost run completely online. This includes their online shops and YouTube channels that receive major traffic, regardless of the pandemic. This is all happening while small businesses have lost storefronts and physical foot traffic and still can be denied what these YouTube creators have cashed in on. Both, Mr. Beast and Jeffree Star have been posting content throughout the pandemic, which is driving in profit. Star in particular has felt no shame in showing off excessively expensive purchases made while in quarantine, while requesting relief funds for his employees and companies.
This is not to say that these Youtubers do not deserve the relief fund, but it does make one wonder the legitimacy of their request and approval for the large loans and why other small businesses have been denied such mercy in the face of the pandemic.