Recording Academy and A2IM Applaud New Senate Bill that Bars Radio Conglomerates from PPP Fund


The proposed legislation would prohibit companies like iHeartRadio and Entercom from receiving PPP funds under the Senate’s HELS Act.

The Recording Academy and the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) are supporting a new Senate bill that would allow small businesses and individuals to qualify for a second loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), while the larger Radio Conceptors Also preventing from receiving aid.

In a joint letter addressed to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) – who sponsored the Continuing Small Business Recovery and Paycheck Protection Program Act as chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship – business organizations pledged their support for the legislation, which was integrated into $ 1 trillion has gone. Senate incentive package known as the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act.

Under the proposed law, no company with more than 300 employees at the locations would qualify for excusable PPP loans. This is a change from the CARES Act bill, which allowed companies with multiple physical locations – such as radio stations – to obtain PPP loans forgivable to individual outlets, so long as no fewer than 500 people were hired from each of those outlets Would do

“On behalf of recording artists and small independent record labels around the country, we write to support the Continuing Small Business Recovery and Paycheck Protection Program Act,” the letter begins, signed by the Chief Advocating Officer of the Recording Academy Darryl Friedman And A2IM President and CEO Richard James Burgess. “Most importantly, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) second draw loan will be an essential lifeline for true small businesses in the music industry, and the lack of a staff cap for 300 employees is public policy.”

The CARES Act controversially opened up the PPP program to radio seminars including iHeartMedia, Entercom and Townsquare Media, each of which hundreds of US protest radio stations argued that the program was designed to benefit from multiple-location The clause withdraws the funds. Many are going without businesses, necessary relief.

In the letter, which was sent on Monday, the Recording Academy and A2IM commended Rubio for prohibiting the radio group from qualifying for loans under the new law.

“Together, we are very happy to see that your proposal does not include provisions supported by the broadcast industry and radio broadcasters specifically, to allow mega conglomerates-owned radio stations to qualify if an individual The location employs less than 500 people, ”the letter reads. “PPP funds have proved challenging to open up safe and challenging funds for large companies that have other means of accessing capital, defeating Congress’s laudable objective to help businesses in struggling communities.”

Freedman and Burgess note that under federal copyright law, broadcast radio – which brings in $ 11 billion in estimated revenue each year – is excused from paying recording artists and record labels for public displays of sound recordings.

“In the context of emergency assistance, it is important to recognize that this unfair behavior under copyright law means that recording artists and labels feel zero downstream impact for broadcasters from taxpayer-funded economic dissemination,” the letter continues.

It added, “Under the current PPP requirements, many small local broadcasters have already received support, and we do not object to true small businesses accessing these funds. According to data released by the Small Business Administration, more than 2,000 radio broadcasters have received $ 350 million in support. 25 of those companies have more than 100 employees. Suffice it to say, the program is already very generous. But the five largest radio groups of more than 1,900 stations in the country are anything but small, and do not qualify for this assistance. ”

Introduced at the end of last month, the Republican-led HEALS Act is one of two Congressional COVID-19 relief packages that are currently under review. The other is the $ 3 trillion Democrat-led Heroes Act, which was passed on May 15 in the House of Representatives.

You can read the full letter below.

Dear Senator Rubio:

On behalf of recording artists and small independent record labels around the country, we support the Continuing Small Business Recovery and Paycheck Protection Program Act. Most importantly, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) second draw loan will be an essential lifeline for true small businesses in the music industry, and employee cap reduction for 300 employees is public policy. We also hope that Congress will clarify some aspects of the PPP so that relief is more accessible to self-employed individuals.

The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) represents more than 700 record labels in 33 states. A2IM members are true small businesses. Of its record label members, more than 140 make less than $ 1 million a year, and several dozen are sole proprietors.

The Recording Academy represents the voices of artists, songwriters, producers, engineers, and all music professionals. It only represents individuals and has no company or corporate members. The academy advocates on behalf of music creators and celebrates artistic excellence through the Grammy Awards® – the only peer-recognized accolade of music and the highest achievement.

Together, we are very pleased to see that your proposal does not specifically include provisions supported by the broadcasting industry and radio broadcasters to allow mega conglomerates-owned radio stations to qualify if an individual The location employs less than 500 people. PPP funds have proved challenging to open a pot of money to other companies that deliver safe and challenging capital, defeating the laudable Congressional objective to help businesses in struggling communities.

As you may know, federal copyright law gives special treatment to radio broadcasts in all other forms of radio distribution, with no charge to artists for recording radio and recording labels for public display of sound recordings. The United States is the only developed country in the world where this is the case and, as a result, music format radio stations make $ 11 billion per year in ad-revenue, which is not necessary to compensate creators whose products are consumers. First pulls in the radio. place.

In the context of emergency assistance, it is important to recognize that this inappropriate behavior under copyright law means that recording artists and labels feel zero downstream impact from taxpayer-funded economic support to broadcasters. For example, when PPP went to the restaurant, it freed up capital for downstream economic gains, flowing to food distributors, furniture suppliers, and others.

Under current PPP requirements, many small local broadcasters have already received support, and we have no objection to true small businesses accessing these funds. According to data released by the Small Business Administration, more than 2,000 radio broadcasters have received $ 350 million in support. 25 of those companies have more than 100 employees. Suffice it to say, the program is already very generous. But the five largest radio groups of more than 1,900 stations in the country are anything but small, and do not qualify for this assistance.

Thank you for your continued leadership and commitment to small businesses. We appreciate the concessional and responsible position set by your proposal and welcome the opportunity to help it be enacted as part of the next relief package.

With devotion,

/ s /
Dr. Richard James Burgess
President and CEO
American Association of Independent Music

/ s /
Darryl Friedman
Chief advocate officer
Recording academy