HPA Details Covid-19 Relief Options for Media Professionals

(Image credit: HPA)

LOS ANGELES—HPA Networking Educational Technology recently conducted a webinar that provided a number of helpful insights to broadcasters on how to take advantage of the new economic relief packages that the government is offering as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The CARES Act, the $2 trillion stimulus package that the government approved last month, offers a number of ways for both companies and freelancers/independent contractors to receive aid during this period. HPA NET organized a panel with Ernst & Young’s Global Media Sector Leader John Harrison, EY’s Global Compliance & Reporting—Taxes partner Debbie Kim and EY Global Treasury Services principal Casey Kernan, as well as Sohonet CEP and HPA Vice President Chuck Parker and Panavision CFO and HPA Treasurer Bill Roberts, to discuss the application process and benefits of these relief efforts.

Specifically, the webinar goes into detail about the Paycheck Protection Program—which is designed to keep workers paid during this time, according to Kernan—specifically who is eligible, what funds are and are not forgivable. A key point that Kernan makes is that the funds are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Kim, meanwhile, detailed how taxes are handled with these relief funds. Some tax credits are conditioned on a company or work having their work suspended or halted during this time. However, according to Kim, this can include working from home (i.e. productions that have been broadcasting from home).

In addition to the government relief options, HPA’s webinar also shared information about industry relief funds that have been made available, including from companies like Netflix and Sony.

The big message from the group during the webinar was to be persistent with the process. “It can be frustrating,” said Parker. “I would encourage you to keep trying. As long as you use the money, it’s a gift.”

You can watch the complete presentation online