Legislative Alert⁠ — help newspapers to use Paycheck Protection Program Loans more efficiently

Tonda Rush

May 21, 2020

Newspapers that received Paycheck Protection Program loans have only eight weeks to spend the funds on payroll and a limited number of other expenses, such as rent, utilities and mortgage interest. National Newspaper Association and others have long requested more flexibility to allow publishers to stretch out the use of funds for a longer period and to remove a restriction that only 25% of loan money can be spent on non-payroll costs.

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote next week on a change in the PPP loans that would provide that flexibility. A bill, HR 6886, by Reps Dean Phillips, D-Minnesota, and Chip Roy, R-Texas, would extend the period for use of the funds through the end of the year. The bill would also remove the 25% restriction, so that businesses needing to spend more of the funds on non-payroll costs could use the loan. It would allow employers a longer time period to rehire any furloughed or laid off employees to extend to the end of the expiration of enhanced Unemployment Compensation period. This PPP extension bill is being split off from other aspects of coronavirus-related stimulus bills to allow Congress to move on this one piece.

The full text of the Phillips/Roy bill is attached here. A vote is expected next Wednesday.

HR 6886 would help community newspapers to use PPP loan proceeds to better support continued publication during the various state shutdowns and recovery from those shutdowns. If you agree, please contact your Representative as soon as possible to request support for the bill. You may always find contact information for your Members of Congress at www.house.gov.