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Editor's note: Axios has returned the loan. Details here.

Axios is among the small businesses that qualified for a PPP loan to protect existing jobs and help weather the coronavirus crisis.

Why it matters: We are in the somewhat unique position of being both a media company, which covers government and business, and a job-creating small business with a national presence. So we wanted to be fully transparent about our thinking. 

  • We have taken a financial hit like other small businesses. Our physical event business is gone until the crisis subsides, and some ad buyers are pulling back to measure the economic fallout.  The media, broadly speaking, is getting crushed by the economic fallout. The good news is that demand for our trusted journalism is stronger than ever.

Our plan: We qualified for just shy of $5 million. Along with quick moves we made early in the crisis to reduce non-personnel expenses, this loan ensures we can avoid layoffs and pay cuts for our almost 200-person staff for the rest of the year, regardless of how much the overall economy deteriorates.

  • This will  be good for readers, our employees and the economy. 
  • In the spirit of full transparency, we will note our participation in PPP when writing stories predominantly focused on that topic. 

The big picture: This is a tough time for small businesses and the media alike. All of us should work our tails off to help others navigate this economic mess.

  • Many organizations have had to lay off talented journalists and teams, or even shut down. Our commitment is to not only protect existing jobs but, with time, grow new ones. 
  • Hopefully, our journalism and business will help lift others through this crisis.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 4, 2020 - Economy & Business

U.S. Chamber of Commerce warns of racial inequality for small businesses

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Attitudes and beliefs about racial inequality are changing quickly as protests and media attention have helped highlight the gaps in opportunity between white- and minority-owned businesses in the United States.

Driving the news: A new survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife provided early to Axios shows a 17-point increase in the number of small business owners who say minority-owned small businesses face more challenges than non-minority-owned ones.

The ransomware pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

"We are on the cusp of a global pandemic," said Christopher Krebs, the first director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, told Congress last week. The virus causing the pandemic isn't biological, however. It's software.

Why it matters: Crippling a major U.S. oil pipeline this weekend initially looked like an act of war — but it's now looking like an increasingly normal crime, bought off-the-shelf from a "ransomware as a service" provider known as DarkSide.

Hollywood's wakeup call

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Decades of failures around diversity and inclusion finally caught up with Hollywood Monday, when NBC made the unprecedented decision not to air the Golden Globes next year following backlash against the group that hosts the show.

Why it matters: NBC has been airing the event exclusively for decades. Its decision to pull back speaks to how big the backlash against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has become.