New COVID-19 Aid Bill Goes to President's Desk

Capitol Hill
(Image credit: Architect of the Capitol)

The Senate has passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which tweaks the CARES Act's program that provided forgivable loans to small businesses if they spent them on keeping workers employed. 

The bill, which has already passed the House, now goes to the President's desk. 

While the bill does not include allowing news outlets--TV and radio stations and newspapers--that are part of larger media groups to qualify individually for the forgivable small business loans it does make changes that affect the small media outlets that do qualify.  

That includes 1) allowing forgiveness for expenses beyond the eight weeks covered by the first bill, 2) eliminating the 25% limit on loan proceeds that can go to non-payroll expenses, 3) full access to payroll tax deferment, and 4) extend the deadline for rehiring beyond June 30 so that it dovetails with the expiration of enhanced unemployment payments.   

“This bill builds on the Paycheck Protection Program by providing more flexibility so businesses can stay solvent, keep current employees, and rehire others," said TechNet President Linda Moore. "TechNet was proud to support this bill in Congress because it allows businesses to make decisions that benefit their employees instead of being forced to make decisions based on arbitrary metrics. We urge the President to sign this bill immediately so businesses and their employees can experience its full benefit.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.