The Democrats' draft HEROES Act legislation, their latest stab at a follow-on COVID-19 aid bill introduced Tuesday (May 12), which includes a big ask from broadcasters and the news media, though the bill's fate is much in doubt.
The bill allows small business loans to go to TV stations that are part of larger groups, which would ordinarily disqualify them, so long as the money only goes to support that local station and is not passed up to the group owner to use for anything else.
According to the National Association of Broadcasters, the bill will:
"[P]rovide television and radio broadcasters, as well as newspapers, the same treatment as hotels and restaurants received under the original CARES Act PPP (Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program)– eligibility based on a physical location basis;
"[R]equire a local station to fit within the SBA size standard for the broadcasting industry, or under $41. 5 million in revenue annually;
"[E]nsure that expanded PPP funds would remain at the local level through additional oversight. "
“NAB thanks Speaker Pelosi and chairwoman Velázquez for their inclusion of expanded access to Payroll Protection Program loans for local radio and television stations in today’s draft Coronavirus economic relief legislation. .
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