Advance Local Media Company Requests New Loans Available Under Paycheck Protection Program
Advance Local, publisher of nine digital news sites and 24 affiliated local newspapers, has requested loans from the federal paycheck protection program as part of a Covid-19 relief program adopted by Congress in December.
US Small Business Administration loans aim to help businesses keep workers on their payroll during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Advance Local said its loan application, as well as that of one of its affiliate newspapers, The Star-Ledger in New Jersey, are pending with the SBA.
Advance Media New York, which publishes The Post-Standard and operates syracuse.com, is a legal subsidiary of Advance Local. The company did not disclose the amount of the anticipated local loan request.
Paycheck Protection Program Loans provide small businesses with low-interest loans of up to $ 10 million to pay eight to 24 weeks of payroll, rent, and other business expenses .
Advance Local said it plans to use the loans to cover some of its salary expenses, utilities and other eligible costs for 2021, allowing its news sites to continue providing vital local news and information during the pandemic.
The Small Business Administration has made the loans available to most businesses with fewer than 500 employees to help them continue to operate without layoffs during the pandemic.
Many local news publishers and broadcasters were excluded from applying for PPP loans last year because the companies are affiliated with larger ownership groups that have more than 500 employees across the country.
Congress changed the eligibility requirements by passing a $ 900 billion Covid relief bill on December 21, its latest round of aid.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, DN.Y., pushed for change, allowing different local media outlets to apply for loans if they serve a single community or metropolitan area and have fewer than 500 employees at a in law.
Newspapers are eligible if they have fewer than 1,000 employees per location.
Schumer said the emergency loans would help keep local media operating as they recovered from the loss of 80% of their advertising revenue during the peak of the pandemic.
A group of 124 House Democrats and Republicans supported the eligibility of news editors and local broadcasters for loans.
The group sent a letter to House leaders in April, noting that the pandemic underscores the need for reliable local information and reports.
“Under ordinary circumstances, this work is essential for public health and safety, local businesses and our democracy,” the letter said. “But this is more important than ever as our country reacts and recovers from the Covid-19 crisis.”