The electric bill can be a significant component of your costs.With the rapid decline in advertising revenue, some stations will have difficulty paying the electric bill. During the current “NY Pause” business shut down, which is slowly ending on a regional basis, utilities are prohibited from shutting off electricity. It is not clear what happens after this date. In addition, the SBA’s PPP program may only cover costs through June 30th. Stations facing difficulty paying their electric bill will normally try to negotiate with the utility. This can be a long process.
NYSBA has been in contact with the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC). The PSC recognizes the important role played by local broadcast stations as an essential service. Accordingly, it is willing to proactively intercede with utilities in an effort to assist stations that are having trouble paying their utility bills. This is not an exemption from payment. Rather the NY PSC is willing to encourage utilities to proactively work with stations to negotiate payment deferral agreements. In some cases of severe hardship, and depending on the service territory of the station, a station may be eligible for economic development assistance, if it is available.
The process will be as follows. NYSBA will collect information from stations that are in economic difficulty and need assistance obtaining a payment deferral agreement with their utility. (See attached form) We will then present the information to the NY PSC. The NY PSC will then contact the utility to alert the utility of the importance of working out a payment plan with the identified stations. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF PROVIDING THE INFORMATION TO THE PSC, NYSBA WILL KEEP ALL INFORMATION CONFIDENTIAL.
This process is designed to help stations cut through the red tape by having the NY PSC help them proactively reach out to the utilities in an effort to obtain a payment deferral agreement. Because each situation will be different, it will be handled on a case by case basis. Any agreement that is reached will be between your station and the utility. NYSBA is merely facilitating the process and assumes no liability under the terms of any agreement. Your station will be responsible for payment.
PLEASE SUBMIT THE FORM TO NYSBA BY JUNE 30TH . A download a copy of the NYSBA form click HERE.
We hope this process will help stations that are struggling during these uncertain times. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me a firstname.lastname@example.org
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