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May 13, 2020
Dennis Wharton
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NAB Statement on Senate Introduction of Legislation Expanding Eligibility to Local Media Outlets for Paycheck Protection Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the introduction of bipartisan Senate legislation to expand eligibility for U.S. Small Business Administration loan access to struggling local newspapers and radio and television stations, the following statement can be attributed to NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith:

“NAB applauds Sens. Cantwell, Boozman, Klobuchar, Ernst and Schumer for introducing bipartisan legislation that would expand access to Small Business Administration loans for local radio and television stations under the Payroll Protection Program. Advertising losses have devastated the local media business in recent weeks at a time when credible, lifesaving local news and information is needed most. Broadcasters look forward to working with Congress to ensure that this legislative language is included in future Coronavirus economic relief efforts to help preserve local media and local journalism.”

The expansion of PPP for local media would:

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

Yesterday, the Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives released draft legislation that would expand eligibility for U.S. Small Business Administration loan access to struggling local newspapers and radio and television stations.

On a bipartisan basis, Members of Congress have previously signaled their support for supporting local media outlets during the COVID-19 pandemic through expanded eligibility for small business loans or federal advertising investment.

Four Senators previously sent a bipartisan letter to Senate leadership urging support for expanding U.S. Small Business Administration loan access to struggling local newspapers and radio and television stations.

Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and 124 other Members of the House of Representatives sent a bipartisan letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy recommending that more local broadcasters and community newspapers be allowed to qualify for Small Business Administration loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.

Nineteen Democratic Senators previously signed a letter that requested future coronavirus stimulus relief legislation include support for local journalism.

A bipartisan letter from Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Bill Flores (R-TX), Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Fred Upton (R-MI) and over 240 lawmakers was sent to the Trump Administration urging a portion of federal agency advertising dollars be directed to local news and media outlets.

Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), John Barrasso (R-WY), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and more than 70 Senators sent a bipartisan letter to the Office of Management and Budget encouraging federal agencies to increase advertising about current and newly created programs and information on broadcast radio and TV stations and local newspapers.

The chairs of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and Co-Chair of the Native American Caucus sent a letter to House and Senate leadership requesting the inclusion of federal funding for local and ethnic media outlets in a future coronavirus relief stimulus package.

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