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Axios Gives Back Paycheck Protection Program Loan

Co-founder and CEO of Axios Jim VandeHei posted a message about the decision to the website

Axios announced Tuesday it would be returning a Paycheck Protection Program loan designed to help the company avoid layoffs. The decision was made after Axios neared “a deal for an alternative source of capital.”

“In the four weeks since Axios applied for the loan, based on big coronavirus business losses, there has been a public backlash against a variety of companies for taking the PPP, including us,” wrote co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei in a public statement on the site, utilizing Axios’ unique method of breaking down stories and simplifying them into distinct bullet points.

“Some critics say media companies like ours should not qualify, period. Others argue that venture-backed start-ups should seek capital elsewhere, even if it hurts the business,” he wrote.

He explained that Axios, with its 190 employees, qualified for the program, which was initially designed to help businesses with less than 500 employees prevent layoffs amid the current economic crisis.

“We remain fully committed to protecting the jobs of all 190 existing employees,” VandeHei wrote, concluding that it’s his hope the return of the loan will “free up $4.8 million in loans for other small businesses still struggling to find capital.”

A representative for Axios did not immediately return a request for further comment on the deal for “an alternative source of capital” mentioned.