Today, a bipartisan bill, the Local News and Emergency Information Act of 2020, was introduced in the Senate that offers legislative text around a Small Business Administration (SBA) affiliation waiver that would allow more news publishers to apply for SBA loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The bill was introduced by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), John Boozman (R-AR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY). The affiliation waiver would allow news publishers to apply for PPP loans as individual, independent entities, despite ownership by companies with other small news publishers or non-news businesses, allowing more publishers to qualify for the vital loans. The bill includes language that would restrict these funds to be used by the parent-owner of the newspaper-borrower.
The Alliance applauds the Senators for their leadership in gathering bipartisan support for this SBA affiliation waiver for news publishers and looks forward to more news publishers being eligible to apply for these loans, which will allow them to continue bringing critical news and information to their local communities.