Senator Ernst Calls for Support of Iowa Newspapers, TV and Radio
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 24, 2020
With Local Reporting Critical Amid COVID-19, Ernst Calls for Support of Iowa Newspapers, TV and Radio
The Iowa senator is pushing for local media to qualify for the widely-used Paycheck Protection Program, like other small businesses, and for public service advertising on COVID-19 to be directed to their airwaves and in print, without any additional burden to the taxpayer
RED OAK, Iowa – With local reporting and access to information critical amid the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) is calling for support for Iowa’s newspapers, television and radio stations.
“Local reporting in Iowa is always vital for our communities, but especially now,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “Iowa families and small businesses depend on access to the latest, reliable information, and our local newspapers, TV, and radio stations play an important role in doing that. Local media, like other small businesses who are facing challenging times, should be able to benefit from the Paycheck Protection Program. In addition, we should direct existing funds we’ve already provided to the federal government for public service announcements to our local news outlets, so the public can stay informed and up to date, with no additional cost to Iowa taxpayers.”
The senator is pushing for local media to qualify for the widely-used Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), like other small businesses, and for public service advertising on COVID-19 to be directed to their airwaves and in print, without any additional burden to the taxpayer.
In certain instances, local newspapers and radio and TV stations are facing hurdles in accessing support from the PPP because they are owned by a larger chain, which puts their number of employees over the 500 limit. As discussions continue on future COVID-19 relief legislation, Senator Ernst is pushing for a Small Business Administration (SBA) rule to be waived so that these local publications and stations can benefit from the PPP.
In addition, Senator Ernst is joining a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting existing funds—which have already been allocated—be directed toward public service announcement advertising on local media, to inform the public and to circulate information about resources available relating to COVID-19.
Click here to view Senator Ernst’s letter to OMB