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Broadcasters to Receive PPP Relief Under New Stimulus Bill


U.S. Congress
U.S. Congress

The latest relief bill in the U.S. Congress will expand the Paycheck Protection Program to include struggling local radio and TV broadcasters as well as newspapers. The coronavirus relief stimulus legislation, introduced on December 20, will provide financial support to a number of companies in the entertainment space, if passed and signed by President Trump -- which is expected Monday.

NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said in a statement, "NAB applauds the inclusion of provisions in COVID-19 relief legislation that would expand eligibility to Paycheck Protection Program loans for local media outlets, including those radio and television stations which were previously excluded. These provisions, in addition to the bill's second round of PPP funding for which many stations will also be eligible, help local broadcasters maintain their operations during this difficult time and continue to provide news and information critical to local communities as vaccine distribution commences across the country.

"We are immensely grateful for the unwavering support of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and their bipartisan cosponsors of stand-alone legislation supporting local media. We thank Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12), Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), as well as the leadership of the Small Business Committees, Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-07), Ranking Member Steve Chabot (R-OH-01), Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD) for their efforts to ensure these important provisions were included in the final relief package. We also appreciate the support of Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who addressed this issue in their bipartisan proposal, and the many members of Congress who have demonstrated their support in providing much-needed aid for local media."

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provisions pertaining to broadcasters:

  • Allow individual TV and radio stations to apply for PPP loans as long as the individual TV or radio station employs not more than 500 employees per physical location;

  • Permit the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make loans up to $10 million total across TV and radio stations owned by a station group (consistent with current SBA regulation);

  • Require newly eligible individual TV and radio stations to make a good faith certification that proceeds of the loan will be used to support expenses for the production or distribution of locally-focused or emergency information; and

  • Waive any prohibition on loans to broadcast stations owned by publicly traded entities.

Additionally, this legislation creates a second round of PPP eligibility for a narrower group of small businesses that demonstrate significant need and for which qualifying broadcasters are also eligible. This second round of PPP applies to businesses with 300 or fewer employees that have sustained a 25 percent revenue loss in any quarter of 2020, and is capped at $2 million. It is available to qualifying broadcasters who secured PPP loans earlier this year, as well as those qualifying broadcasters made newly eligible for first round PPP loans as a result of this legislation.

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