E&E News receives $1.9M in federal pandemic aid

By Timothy Cama | 04/22/2020 01:19 PM EDT

E&E News received a loan from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program to help it weather the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects.

The publishing company applied for funding from the $349 billion small-business program implemented last month under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, and was approved for a $1.9 million loan, said Michael Witt, E&E News’ publisher.

E&E News will include a disclosure on all future news stories about PPP, noting its own participation.

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Witt said E&E News, so far, is financially stable during the crisis, but some of the industries that subscribe to the company’s publications are hurting.

"With the uncertainty of what’s happening with the economy, we’re certainly affected by that," he said in an interview. "We have clients in sectors across the board that are experiencing this economic turmoil."

The $1.9 million loan will cover payroll and other related allowable expenses for eight weeks, though Witt said the company was not at risk of missing payroll during that period.

Beyond the loan, E&E News has frozen nonessential spending, and Witt cut his own pay, he said.

Under CARES, the federal government will forgive the loans entirely for companies that use the money for allowable expenses, among other requirements.

Other media companies that have disclosed PPP assistance include The Seattle Times and Axios.

Numerous companies in the energy sector have also disclosed PPP loans, including Hallador Energy Co., a coal mining company that former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has lobbied for (Greenwire, April 21).

The federal government has not revealed the names of the 1.6 million loan recipients. Companies that voluntarily publicized their loans or those that were required to inform investors are the only ones that are known publicly.

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