By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent@StacyBrownMedia
African American-owned media companies and small businesses are included in the massive $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill passed by the U.S. Senate.
“Yes, this does include minority-owned media. They are included as small businesses,” a top-ranking Senate source told NNPA Newswire.
A closer read of the 888-page legislation reveals that $10 million has been allocated for minority business centers for technical assistance.
Another $10 million has been designated for the Minority Business Development Agency within the Department of Commerce to provide grants to Minority Business Centers and Minority Chambers of Commerce to provide counseling, training, and education on federal resources and business response to the COVID-19 for small businesses.
In response to COVID-19, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a trade organization of the nation’s African American-owned newspapers and media companies, established a Coronavirus Task Force and Resource Center to assist the Black community through the pandemic.
The task force and resource center “appears to meet the criteria for federal assistance through the stimulus bill,” the Senate source added.
The legislation also eliminates the Minority Business Center program’s non-federal match requirement for three months.
It allows for centers to waive fee-for-service requirements through September 2021.
“All of us had to come together to agree on bipartisan legislation to send an infusion of desperately needed resources to our public health systems, state, local, and tribal governments, small businesses, and American workers,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stated.
“Our nation is no stranger to adversity. But during difficult times, our nation comes together to help and support each other,” Schumer added.
“Democrats are ready to give our unanimous consent to speed up the consideration of the bill and get the job done. Let’s get it done for America’s workers.”