Leaders of the United States Government announced a new COVID-19 relief bill that includes relief aid for independent music venues and theaters. This is the first major relief for these types of venues outside the Small Business Association loan relief program from the April stimulus relief bill. The United States has lagged behind the rest of the world in providing any support for the indie music world in any meaningful, widespread way.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a statement saying the long-overdue $900 billion stimulus deal bill includes “$15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.”
“We’re thrilled that Congress has heard the call of shuttered independent venues across the country and provided us a crucial lifeline by including the Save Our Stages Act in the COVID-19 Relief Bill,” Dayna Frank, owner and chief executive of First Avenue Productions and board president of the National Independent Venue Association, said in a statement. “We’re also incredibly grateful that this bill provides Pandemic Unemployment Assistance which will help the millions of people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during this economic crisis. We urge swift passage of this legislation, which will assist those in the greatest need and ensure the music lives on for generations to come.”
Small live music and entertainment venues have been hard-hit during the coronavirus pandemic, with 90 percent of venue owners, promoters, and bookers previously reporting they were at risk of closing without additional financial assistance and an estimated $9 billion in losses.
Congressional Democrats have reached an agreement with Republicans and the White House on an emergency coronavirus relief and omnibus package that delivers urgently needed funds to save the lives and livelihoods of the American people. https://t.co/z9uVKPk9TP
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 21, 2020