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COVID19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources For News Organizations (UPDATED!)

This page was updated today to include a summary of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, and information about an online event regarding government funding opportunities.

These are extremely troubling times for your news organizations, your readers and your advertisers. Across the nation, publications like yours and organizations like ours are working to help each other through these economic difficulties to continue to provide the kind of news and information that is more vital now than ever. Ideas and resources are being shared, between employees, companies, and state and national press associations. That’s because we all have a strong belief in the value of what our work provides.

 

To further that spirit of cooperation, we will be sharing on this page information that we think can help your organization and its employees. There will be attachments and links to great resources for you to use in these difficult times. We’re hoping they can help.

If you come across an idea, a resource or an effort that is not included here, please feel free to let us know so we can add it. Send any information you’d like us to share to Sam Fisher, CEO and president of the Illinois Press Association, at sfisher@illinoispress.org.

 

SUMMARY OF THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM FLEXIBILITY ACT OF 2020

On June 5, the president signed H.R.7010, “The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020” (“PPPFA”) into law.  This new legislation includes several changes to the original Paycheck Protection Program that was established by the CARES ACT.

Click here for a summary of the PPPFA.

 

GOVERNMENT FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

PPP UPDATE ONLINE EVENT: COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Learn about the SBA's loan programs to help small business impacted by coronavirus.

10-11 a.m. Thursday, June 18

If your small business has been impacted by coronavirus, join this free online training with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to learn more about several funding programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Paycheck Protection Program. During the event, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Illinois District Office will address recent updates including the PPP Flexibility Act and how you can access funds ahead of the program's June 30 deadline.

Register now to receive log on instructions emailed to you. Please note, this event will be on the Microsoft Teams platform. There is no dial-in number; you must join online. The Safari browser is incompatible. Email the Illinois District Office with questions at ILLINOIS.DO@sba.gov

Click here to register.

 

ANOTHER $310 BILLION FOR PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM

Congress recently approved a nearly $500 billion aid package for small businesses and hospitals hit hard by the coronvirus pandemic. Those small businesses include most Illinois newspapers.

The deal includes $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program that was established in the CARES ACT. The PPP now includes small banks, credit unions and nonprofits. There is $30 billion in loans available through banks, credit unions and Minority and Community Development Financial Institutions with less than $10 billion in assets. Another $30 billion is available through financial institutions with assets of between $10 billion and $50 billion.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan program designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.  SBA will forgive a portion if not all of the loan if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

Click here for a summary of the Paycheck Protection Program.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions About the Program.

Visit the U.S. Department of Treasury site for more information and resources.


 

MARKETING MATERIAL

AMERICA'S NEWSPAPERS' MARKETING CAMPAIGN

America’s Newspapers has created this great campaign to promote the value of newspapers. It is sharing with us to use. The campaign has print, digital and social media elements. Please localize to fit your needs, but we encourage you to keep the America’s Newspaper logo. There are co-branded ads as well to which you can add your logo as well. However, feel free to customize to fit your needs.

Thanks to our friends at America’s Newspapers for sharing so much through this crisis.

Click here to access the files.

 

OMA/FOIA GUIDANCE

The Illinois Municipal League has requested that the Attorney General suspend Freedom of Information Act deadline requirements through the end of the stay-at-home order. The updated AG’s guidance found here explains that the Attorney General doesn’t have that authority. Only an executive order or an act of the General Assembly can alter the deadlines.

We understand that the pandemic has put added strain on local governments and their ability to meet established deadlines. We urge our members to keep this in mind when making FOIA requests and be prepared to accommodate deadline extensions when asked.

Under no circumstances can a FOIA request be denied due to the stay-at-home order. Please keep us advised if you have any difficulties.

 

IPA WEBINAR

CARES Act: The Association hosted a webinar April 2 to explore the impact of this legislation on newspapers.

Here’s the link to yesterday’s webinar along with the slide deck

Paycheck Protection Program

Additionally, the Association’s CFO, Tracy Spoonmore has put together important information on this program and related documentation (below). If you plan to take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program, you should do it as soon as possible as there are limited funds available. The application process starts today.

About the Paycheck Protection Program 

Paycheck Protection Program Overview 

Information Sheet for Borrowers 

Loan Amount Calculator

Information About Active Lenders

Paycheck Protection Program Application Form

 

YOUR STANDING AS A LEGAL NEWSPAPER

We know that everyone is under tremendous pressure to continue usual operations given the dramatic loss of revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s extremely important that you don’t make changes that would jeopardize your standing as a legal newspaper and your ability to publish public notices. However, we encourage you maintain the requirements of 50 publications annually, page size no less than 100 sq. inches and maintain the minimum 25% news content. We understand that the “Act of God” provision might give you latitude to suspend publishing for a period of time or reduce frequency, but it’s never been tested. We also know when we get past this crisis that local units of government, given the financial hit they have taken, will be applying renewed pressure on the legislature to move notices out of newspapers. Please consult Don Craven – dmcraven@aol.com or me before making any changes that might put your ability to publish notices at risk. Here are the requirements of a legal publication for reference.

 

FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE EFFORTS

Joint call for Relief: The News Media Alliance, National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), National Newspaper Association (NNA) and America’s Newspapers jointly called on Congress to provide critical support to local news media in its next stimulus bill designed to provide relief to businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In its summary document, the organizations specifically call for Congress to ensure the ability of local media to seek relief under the Paycheck Protection Program and to fund federal advertising spending on local media through directing current U.S. government advertising campaigns to local news and media outlets, and providing the Department of Health and Human Services, the Small Business Administration and other relevant agencies with an additional $5 billion to $10 billion for direct funding for local media advertising that would be evenly distributed to local media in communities of all sizes.

Letter from Senate Democrats to Fund Local Journalism: Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and 18 other Senate Democrats sent a letter to Senate leadership calling for funding to support local journalism and media in any future COVID-19 relief packages.

We will be calling on you in the near future to reach out to your member of the Illinois Congressional delegation for support much as we did during the 2018 newsprint tariff battle.

 

REPORTING RESOURCES

The Illinois Department of Public Health updates the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths daily at this site. The site also includes an updated number of the people in Illinois tested for coronavirus, in addition to an interactive map to see the number of cases and deaths per county.

 

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has built a page of COVID-19 Resources that includes state-by-state projections of hospital resources use, daily deaths and total deaths related to the coronavirus outbreak.

 

The Society of Professional Journalists has a Journalists Toolbox that includes a regularly updated global map of COVID-19 cases from John Hopkins University of Medicine, links to health organizations and data sources, a daily tracker of testing results, and more.

 

When should people seek care for COVID-19? Feel free to use this free tool on your site, in English and Spanish, from the Center for Health Journalism.

 

ONA Community Circles are essentially small virtual discussion groups, designed for a deeper connection among peers. Further, each circle will have a single purpose decided by its members. Sign-ups open today.

 

MORE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

How public meetings are changing in the age of coronavirus.

A recorded webinar: Digging into ideas for COVID-19 investigations.

COVID-19 Resource Guide, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Seven ways to get your COVID-19 reporting to those who need it.

 

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