Now would be the perfect time to write your elected leaders in Washington if you’re hoping to receive federal dollars to help deal with the massive advertising decline brought on by the forced government shutdown. House Democrats are gearing up to approve another $3 trillion stimulus package while Senate Republicans say it’s too soon to print more money.
Before anyone gets their hopes up, about seeing a government check in their bank account, the new $3 trillion stimulus package introduced by House Democrats has already been stamped dead-on-arrival by Republicans in the Senate. The draft legislation from the House would expand eligibility for U.S. Small Business Administration loan access to local radio and TV stations and newspapers.
Democrats are calling the bill the Heroes Act. It includes nearly $1 trillion for state and local governments, a $200 billion fund for essential worker hazard pay (which could include radio station employees), $75 billion for Covid-19 testing, tracing and isolation efforts, and checks for Americans of up to $6,000 per household.
Back in March, a $2 trillion stimulus package was approved in which some radio operators did receive funding to help keep employees on the payroll. However, as we’ve seen from Q1 earnings advertising dollars dried up in April and that has had been devastating to radio stations across the country. The shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of people to the unemployment line and sent the American economy into a tailspin.
Some states are now starting to open up their economies. And on Tuesday, the Governor of Arizona announced his state was open for all major sporting leagues to resume play. Having play-by-play back would also help boost revenue for sports stations across the country.
While the politicians in Washington fight over this Democrat proposed $3 trillion bill, most people expect there will be another stimulus package passed. When that’s passed, and signed by the president, and how much it includes, is always the mystery when the political fighting takes center stage. That’s why every manager and owner should continue to lobby those elected officials to make sure support for local media in any final COVID bill is always on the top of their mind.