IN “LA VOZ DEL NEGOCIO HISPANO” “THE VOICE OF HISPANIC BUSINESS” SENATOR RUBIO TALKS ABOUT THE PPP, UNEMPLOYMENT LEVELS IN THE US AND THE GRADUAL REOPENING OF FLORIDA
Miami, FL. May 5, 2020 – Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. (“SBS”) (OTCQX: SBSAA), the leading certified Hispanic minority, multimedia and entertainment company in the United States, announced that its leading Sunday program in the mornings, “The Voice of the Hispanic Business” “La Voz del Negocio Hispano” presented by respected journalist, Mario Andres Moreno, with radio and television broadcasts, interviewed exclusively, US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) about the COVID-19 pandemic and other important issues related to the Hispanic community in the United States.
During the interview broadcasted this past Sunday, May 3 on SBS´s Top Rated FM stations, and also across various multimedia platforms, Senator Rubio spoke about the second round of aid in federal funds for the Check Payment Protection Program (PPP, for its acronym in English). Also during the interview he commented to Mario Andres Moreno about the gradual reopening of Florida and the increasing levels of unemployment in the US caused by the coronavirus.
A partial transcript of the interview with La Voz del Negocios Hispano and MegaTV are available at https://www.spanishbroadcasting.com/la-voz-del-negocio-hispano and on our platform, LaMusica App available on IOS and Android. The segments were pre-recorded Friday, May 1st.
Second Round of Federal Aid in PPP Funds
“In the last 48 hours it has improved a lot. The first day this was launched again, Monday of this week, there were a lot of problems because there was a lot of confusion. The reason was this: There were a huge number of apps that had accumulated over a million. And also, the big banks had created electronic systems to present in great quantities, from 15 thousand to 20 thousand at a time of these applications. You can imagine, this created a very difficult situation. But there have been several measures, for example yesterday, from four in the afternoon until midnight, they only accepted applications from small banks, credit unions, etc. and that helped a lot. Not only to process these applications, but also to alleviate a bit the amount of applications that were waiting to be processed.”
“So I will tell you that we do not have the latest figures, but we are and I believe that the money will last a few more days. But at the end of the day this is going to reach more than three million small businesses. Even people working on their own account, as freelancers. And we are talking between 60 and 70 million jobs in this country that will be saved, even if it is for eight weeks through this project. So it has not been perfect because there will never be a perfect solution in a crisis. But it is going to help a lot of people.”
Message to employers who have applied to the PPP and fear they will not be able to pay payroll
“Anyone who applied and was awarded the PPP in the first phase must have already received the money. You have ten days to give these funds. These funds do not come from the government, these funds come from the deposit held by the banks where you took out this loan. If you were approved in the first phase of the applications, you should have already received those funds. If you have already applied, and have been approved in the second round, then you will receive it in ten days after that loan has been approved. That money, again, doesn’t come from Washington. The money comes from the deposits these banks have in place. If you are waiting for this application, I will tell you that obviously it depends on when the bank decides to present it. I will tell you that our experience is that the smaller banks have done a great job in helping. And we have seen these figures. Larger banks have been more complicated. We don’t know the reason. Some started very late, others, it is alleged, have given preference to one client over another. We have no evidence of this at this time, but we will investigate.”
“But at the end of the day, I think the vast majority of people who are already applying, it depends on who you apply to if you are going to have a positive result. As long as these funds are not depleted. Unfortunately, the first round ran out in 11 days. Hopefully this round will last a little longer.”
Gradual reopening, expectation of returning to work
“You cannot lie here. For the people it will be very difficult, and although there is an opening it will continue to be very difficult and very painful for many sectors. For example, we have seen that 64 counties have opened in Florida in the first phase, but that does not include many industries. Even though it includes your industry there are limitations. For example, a restaurant can only have 25% of its capacity. And most restaurants can’t survive with only 25% of capacity, it’s something, it helps, but it’s not perfect. But hey, it’s something and a step forward. The number of infections is not going to be zero as long as there is no vaccine. The important thing is that hospitals do not find more patients than they can deal with at that particular moment.”
Potential risk of small US Latino businesses closing
“So is. It is the concern for two reasons: first, because they have closed and have not been able to operate for more than five or six weeks. Very few businesses can handle that. And second, because it is possible that the way in which business is done in this country will change. I give you an example, we have seen large companies, and it is not because I am against them, because I have bought there. But Home Depot, Home Depot nowadays one can go to the internet and do their shopping and they have a very complex national electronic system and they bring it to your car. Since people have gotten used to it, they will continue to do so. The one that is not going to be able to do that, is the small hardware store in the neighborhood that does not have that internet capacity or to make that type of advertisement and then we are going to possibly see, either Home Depot or Amazon, more accustomed people and more to make massive purchases through these electronic platforms. Which is a negative thing, but that helps large corporations, in many cases at the expense of small ones. And that is a concern that I do have, the consolidation of economic activity in the hands of large companies and that is not going to favor small merchants. ”
Undocumented persons who cannot receive aid from the federal government
“First of all, this is one of the reasons why we include charitable organizations in PPP aid. Because we know that these organizations are going to be able to help many people who are not eligible for these grants. You can imagine, when the government is giving you aid, that aid has to be, as we are giving you taxpayer money, it has to be based on documentation. When one applies for a PPP one has to verify that one has a company. When it applies to unemployment you have to prove that you had a job and were fired from that job. Unfortunately, when you don’t have documents, that’s impossible. It is one of the costs of operating in an invisible economy, as is the case for many people who are here without documents. It is a problem that does not have an easy solution. Obviously, we try to give aid to charitable organizations because regardless of an individual’s immigration status, they are human beings who deserve medical treatment, who deserve to be treated with dignity. But for a government it is almost impossible to give help to people that one does not even know if they are here because they are not documented to be in the country.”
People getting used to unemployment and receiving checks or incentives from the government
“No, look, the vast majority of people want to work. If you ask the vast majority of people, they want to go back to their jobs. Point, it’s reality. That there are people who want to take advantage of it, that exists everywhere. Unfortunately that is part of human nature. We are not going to let two or three people out of every 1,000 create politics in this country. There are systems and ways to deal with it. That is unfortunate, that there are people who take advantage of that, but that exists. The important thing here is to understand that the vast majority of people want it to return to what was normal, their job, their children at school, their normal life. And it is what most people want. Without a doubt there are people who are playing the system, that always happens unfortunately. What we have to have is a system to try to limit that kind of abuse and identify the people who are abusing it. But we cannot punish the vast majority for a small minority that will always be present. ”
We invite you not to miss “La Voz del Negocio Hispano” “The Voice of Hispanic Business”, the national program of SBS Radio and MegaTV every Sunday morning, created to support continued growth and provide education and guidance to small and medium business owners, especially during the current crisis of COVID-19.
This is a rush transcript and it is subject to change. Please include a mandatory credit to “LA VOZ DEL NEGOCIO HISPANO SBS” in the first mention if you quote this material.
HOST: Mario Andres Moreno, SBS
LOCATION: Miami, Florida
About Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc.
Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. owns and operates 17 radio stations located in the top U.S. Hispanic markets of New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Puerto Rico, airing the SpanishTropical, Regional Mexican, Spanish Adult Contemporary, Top 40 and Latin Rhythmic format genres. SBS also operates AIRE Radio Networks, a national radio platform which creates, distributes and markets leading Spanish-language radio programming to over 250 affiliated stations reaching 95% of the U.S. Hispanic audience. SBS also owns MegaTV, a television operation with over-the-air, cable and satellite distribution and affiliates throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. SBS also produces live concerts and events and owns multiple bilingual websites, including LaMusica, a mobile app providing content related to Latin music, entertainment, news and culture. For more information, visit us online at www.spanishbroadcasting.com.
Media Contact SBS:
VP, Corporate Communications
(786) 394-9000 Ext. 1144