Expanded Broadcast Paycheck Protection Program Eligibility Included in New COVID-19 Relief Package

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the CBA are extremely pleased to report that as a result of our aggressive advocacy on behalf of our members, we have secured significantly expanded broadcast Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) eligibility as part of the forthcoming COVID relief package to be finalized by Congress in the coming hours. In summary, we were successful in not only obtaining the same physical-location based eligibility as restaurants and hotels under the original CARES Act, but we also ensured that all broadcasters interested in this expansion will be eligible regardless of whether they are publicly traded.

This outcome, the culmination of more than nine months of sustained advocacy:

  1. Allows individual TV and radio stations to apply for the PPP even if owned by a larger entity if the individual station employs not more than 500 employees per physical location;
  2. Permits the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make loans up to $10 million total across TV and radio stations owned by a station group (consistent with current SBA regulation on account of corporate ownership structure);
  3. Requires newly eligible individual TV and radio stations to make a good faith certification that proceeds of the loan will be used to support expenses for the production or distribution of locally-focused or emergency information; and
  4. Waives any prohibition on loans to broadcast stations owned by publicly traded entities.

Additionally, we are very pleased to report that this legislation also creates a second round of PPP eligibility for a narrower group of small businesses that demonstrate significant need for which qualifying broadcasters are also eligible. This second round of PPP applies to businesses with 300 or fewer employees that have sustained a 25 percent revenue loss in any quarter of 2020, and is capped at $2 million. This second round of PPP is not only available to those qualifying broadcasters who secured PPP loans earlier this year, but also those broadcasters who were made newly eligible for first round PPP as a result of this legislation. These employee and revenue loss thresholds are measured at a local level.