Unfortunately, Congress continues to play politics with a COVID-19 stimulus package. We are especially concerned about the need to increase SBA loans for stations. Over the weekend we contacted the entire NY Delegation and urged them to move forward with a stimulus package. Here is the letter we sent to each office individually:
To: New York Congressional Delegation
From: David Donovan, President New York State Broadcasters Association
RE: Support Economic Stimulus for Essential Broadcast Communications Services
The current COVID-19 crisis is causing significant economic dislocations to local radio and television stations in New York. These broadcasters are providing essential life-saving information to citizens throughout New York State. We provide this information to citizens over-the-air for free. This free lifeline service becomes more important as the economic crisis intensifies and consumers find it difficult to afford subscription services. If stations start failing, many New Yorkers lose access to vital information. We are an essential service under Federal and New York State law.
We urge you to pass an economic stimulus package immediately. Importantly, we need to expand access to loans administered by the Small Business Association. Specifically we should expand the eligibility criteria in “Sec 1102(7)(a)(b) to include entities providing a free over-the-air service to the public that are “an FCC licensee deemed an “essential service provider” under the Stafford Act.”
We understand that the House and Senate are currently negotiating a package (H.R. 478 / BA12091).
The draft gives the administration the ability to expand eligibility, but the above language is not included. We also need an SBA process that cuts through the red tape. I hope you will consider the recommendation for this package and any future stimulus packages.
As we go to press Congress is still debating the stimulus package. Nonetheless, it is clear that small businesses with less than 500 employees will be eligible for expanded SBA loans.
If you have any questions, please contact me a firstname.lastname@example.org
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