Commentary

How Will Federal Stimulus Bill Help Publishers?

The U.S. government's $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package may help some ailing publishers, especially small businesses that face the biggest financial threat from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their bigger concern will be how quickly the economy bounces back from the public-health crisis that likely has caused a deep recession.

Publishers considering whether to ask for financial assistance will still have to wait as federal agencies establish rules for doling out grants and issuing loans, a process that could take at least a few more weeks. Because the government's biggest priority is preventing unemployment that takes years to reach full recovery, the stimulus plan has incentives for job preservation. As more details emerge, Publishing Insider will aim to cover the most important parts of the plan.

The legislation earmarked $367 billion in federally guaranteed loans through the Small Business Administration for companies with fewer than 500 employees, a threshold that covers many smaller organizations. Eligible businesses can use those loans for payroll, health care, mortgages and other debts -- and loan forgiveness is possible for companies that use the money to retain workers.

advertisement

advertisement

The CARES Act, as the stimulus plan is officially known, raises the limit on SBA-approved loans to $1 million from the prior limit of $300,000. Banks are handling the distribution of the loans, but I'm concerned that they will be overwhelmed with applications from ailing businesses seeking bailout funding. 

For companies with more than 500 employees, the U.S. Treasury Department has $454 billion to distribute to companies aside from those in the transportation industry that has seen plummeting passenger traffic. 

The U.S. government isn't going to stop there, with press reports saying that a fourth stimulus package is in the works to extend prior relief efforts -- including checks sent to individuals -- and to fill in the gaps in those plans.

There are limitations to what the stimulus measures can do for ailing publishers and the thousands of people who work in the industry. Ideally, the combination of public health measures and stimulus plans will help to hasten an end to the crisis that is creating enormous hardship for millions of Americans.

Next story loading loading..