Media Eligible for Paycheck Protection Program in Latest Relief Plan

(Image credit: Future)

WASHINGTON—(UPDATED 5/14): Media outlets, from TV stations to radio and newspapers, would be eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program as part of an expansion of access to U.S. Small Business Administration loans if a new coronavirus relief plan from the House of Representatives, as well as a similar bill introduced by a bipartisan group in the Senate, is passed. 

The details of the expansion of PPP are as follows:

  • It would provide TV and radio broadcasters, as well as newspapers, the same treatment hotels and restaurants received under the original CARES Act PPP, with eligibility based on a physical location basis; 
  • It would require a local station to fit within the SBA size standard for the broadcasting industry, or under $41.5 million in revenue annually; and 
  • It ensures that expanded PPP funds would remain at the local level through additional oversight

Members on both sides of the aisles in the House and Senate have been calling for additional support for media outlets during the coronavirus pandemic, citing their importance in providing information to communities. Other organizations, like the NAB and National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters were also pushing for expanded government support of broadcast stations.

Some groups, however, like the American Television Alliance, have been wary of giving small business loans to TV stations that are often owned by large conglomerates.

In a statement, NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith thanked members of Congress for their action.

“Hometown broadcasters and community newspapers are providing vital news and information during these unprecedented times to keep families and communities safe, while struggling with record advertising revenue losses,” Smith said. “Broadcasters look forward to working with all members of Congress to ensure that such legislative language is swiftly enacted.”

Smith applauded the work of both the House and Senate.