Tampa Bay Times secures federal loan to help cut revenue losses caused by pandemic
the Tampa Bay Times and its related companies received a loan of $ 8.5 million as part of the federal government’s program to support businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The loan is guaranteed by the Small Business Administration and falls under the $ 2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed by Congress last month and signed by President Donald Trump.
The program is designed to help small businesses continue to pay their employees during the crisis, and loan amounts are based on the company’s payroll. During the first eight weeks after a loan is granted, the government will waive the reimbursement of payroll expenses, plus some rent, utilities and mortgage interest.
The crisis hit local businesses and advertising revenue hard Time fell 50 percent. In response, the company reduced newspaper printing and delivery to Wednesday and Sunday and laid off dozens of employees, mostly in production, delivery and sales.
Even so, the company said, the expenses saved by these changes will only cover half of the sharp drop in ad revenue.
The company said it had recalled a few employees from time off and would reinstate a temporary 10% pay cut that was due to end the first week of June. The 13-week pay cut took place during Timestaff just as the virus erupted. (The top five executives suffered a 15% pay cut, and that will continue.)
But the main impact is that the company can maintain its operations at their current level and wait longer for the economy to improve.
“This loan gives us more time to come out of the crisis before we have to make even more changes,” said Time President and CEO Paul C. Tash. “It makes a big difference and we are grateful for it.”
The loan was made through the Hancock Whitney Bank, where the Time keeps his professional accounts. Hancock is a preferred lender under the SBA program. Part of the loan will go to others Time affiliates, including Florida Trend magazine and Tampa Bay Newspapers, a group of weekly newspapers from Pinellas and Pasco counties.