• Killer Merch LLC, a merchandising company that has worked with internet celebrities like Shane Dawson, received a coronavirus relief loan according to data released by the Small Business Administration and compiled in a ProPublica database.
  • Beauty YouTuber Jeffree Star says he owns the company, which was criticized earlier this summer for restocking Shane Dawson’s merchandise as the YouTuber was embroiled in controversy.
  • Jeffree Star Cosmetics also received a coronavirus relief loan, according to SBA data.
  • Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.

Killer Merch, a merchandise company that has teamed up with internet celebrities like Jacques Charles and Shane Dawson in the past, appears to have received a coronavirus relief loan.

According to ProPublica’s database of companies approved for over $ 150,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, and disclosed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), Killer Merch LLC received a loan in the amount of $ 350,000 to $ 1 million May 3. In SBA data, released by ProPublica, Killer Merch LLC reported 59 jobs.

PPP loans, which are part of the federal CARES law, are intended to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, which has had widespread economic impacts. The loans are meant to keep workers on the payroll, and the SBA has said loans would be written off entirely if companies spent them on salary costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities.

Killer Merch is heavily associated with controversial beauty YouTuber Jeffree Star, who says he owns the business. The company came under fire earlier this summer for restocking Shane Dawson’s hoodies amid a backlash against the YouTube star. At the time, people were widely critical of Dawson’s old racist content, including cases of blackface and a video in which he appears to be pretending to masturbate in front of a photo of 11-year-old Willow Smith.

In August, Killer Merch customers received notification that Dawson was launching new merchandise even as he maintained his hiatus from YouTube after a summer of controversy. Dawson and Star have been close collaborators in previous years.

A representative for Killer Merch did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment regarding the PPP loan and whether Star is indeed a part-owner of the company.

Jeffree Star Cosmetics, which is operated by Star, would also have received a PPP loan ranging from $ 350,000 to $ 1 million according to SBA data. This loan was also approved on May 3 and Jeffree Star Cosmetics, Inc. has listed 21 employees. Representatives for Jeffree Star Cosmetics did not respond to Insider’s request for comment after the news was originally reported by Mashable.

Approximately $ 670 million in emergency economic assistance was made available to small businesses in 2020 through PPP this year, Business Insider reported. When the program expired on August 8, the SBA had approved more than 5.2 million loans.

In a September 1st note, House Democrats said billions of dollars in relief funds were threatened with fraud and abuse. The Washington Post reported in July that some SBA loans went to chains and privately funded companies that were owned by members of Congress.

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