Data released by the US government shows that Grindr has been approved for a ‘small business loan’, to offer support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ‘Paycheck Protection Program’ will provide US-based companies with a “forgivable government-backed loan from a lender” to help them retain their employees. The gay dating app is set to receive between $1 million and $2 million, and a total of 69 jobs will be saved in the process.
However, Reuters is questioning whether or not Grindr should be eligible for the assistance, noting that the company was valued at $620 million during last month’s takeover by San Vicente Acquisitions.
Grindr also reported annual profits of approximately $31 million in 2019.
Copy on the US Small Business Administration’s website explains: “The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.”
The loans will be forgiven if certain criteria are met, including if the funds were used for interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities, as well as at least 60% going towards employee payroll.
A Grindr spokesperson did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment on why the company applied for the loan and how it would be used.
Grindr has also been criticised in the past couple of weeks for delaying the removal of its controversial ethnicity feature.
It promised to remove the premium filter after claims that it facilitated sexual racism on the platform, but has not yet acted despite completing six other app updates.
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