Many influencers are able to grow their brands and create content by hiring employees and working through LLCs. These small businesses were like many others who took out PPP loans to stay afloat, but the outlook was different for the “Bachelor” stars, who often promote ambitious lifestyles after the show ended. The Bachelor subreddit was in turmoil after publications drew attention to public documents that showed several applicants had applied to the government’s paycheck protection program. Some were able to obtain loans of over $ 20,000. As the numbers circulated on Reddit and later in Vulture, fans wondered if reality stars were the intended beneficiaries of the program, as many contestants turned their newfound fame into influencer careers, podcasters and hosts.
The $ 800 billion paycheck protection program, which ended on May 31, offered businesses forgivable loans of up to $ 10 million to cover about two months of payroll and a handful of other expenses. such as rent. Applicants were not required to demonstrate financial harm caused by the pandemic; they simply had to certify that “the current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary” to support the continuation of their operations.
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Last year, most sole proprietorships – businesses that employ no one other than the business owner – had to be profitable to qualify for a loan. But in late February, the Biden administration changed that rule, making millions of previously excluded businesses eligible for financial aid. Beneficiaries are required to use most of the money to pay workers, including themselves.
After the easing of loan terms, almost every small business in America legally qualified for help. Loan recipients included white-shoe law firms, political lobbyists, anti-vaccine activists, restaurant chains TGI Fridays and PF Chang’s, and businesses started by sports stars such as Tom Brady and Floyd Mayweather. .
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Also on this list: a large number of the Bachelor Nation cast members. Among them was Tayshia Adams, who starred in “The Bachelorette” in 2020 and is now the show’s co-host after Chris Harrison left. She received $ 20,833 in January for salary expenses at her company, Tayshia Adams Media LLC, according to public records.
The Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation – founded by Colton Underwood, a star of “The Bachelor” in 2019 – received a PPP loan of $ 11,355. The organization, which helps people with cystic fibrosis, applied for the loan after its annual fundraiser was canceled due to the pandemic, according to Underwood publicist Cindy Guagenti.
Representatives for Adams declined to comment for this article.
“No PPP has gone directly to Colton,” Guagenti said in an email. “In fact, Colton never received any form of payment from the foundation; all profits go directly to people living with cystic fibrosis.
In an Instagram post on Monday that has since been deleted, Underwood distanced himself from the reality show and explained why he received the loan.
Lauren Burnham and Arie Luyendyk Jr., a couple who met on the show and got married, received $ 20,830, the maximum amount for a sole proprietorship PPP loan, through their company Instagram Husband in June. 2020, according to public records. The couple have over 200,000 YouTube subscribers and looked into the influencer lifestyle after they appeared on the reality show. In April, for example, the couple posted a video tour of their newly purchased second home in Hawaii on their YouTube account.
Records show that Dale Moss, who received the final rose in season 16 of “The Bachelorette,” also applied for a PPP loan of $ 20,830, according to public records. Moss’s loan has been approved, but it has yet to be disbursed.
Other former candidates for the “Bachelor” and the “Bachelorette” have given their opinion on the loans that certain candidates have received. Nick Viall, who has appeared on several seasons of the franchise, criticized the loan recipients on Twitter.
“What is legal is not always fair. What is illegal is not always bad, ”he wrote.
Jason Tartick, a contestant for Season 14 of “The Bachelorette,” posted a four-minute video on his Instagram account explaining why he didn’t apply for a PPP loan, even though he considered it.
“We’re talking about doing the right thing and I’m not trying to look straight,” Viall added in a TikTok video on Wednesday. “I can’t imagine any of these people thought someone would watch. If you’re going to take public funds and you’re going to be on a public platform, you’re going to be open to criticism. It’s semantics to pretend it was the right thing to do.
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“I came very close to filling one,” Tartick said in the video. “But I just thought, ‘It’s not fair.’ That’s why I didn’t do it.
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