WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — Congressional representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) have introduced Entertainment New Credit Opportunity for Relief & Economic Sustainability (ENCORES) Act, aimed at supporting the independent music and entertainment sector as they try to survive economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic and the shutdown of public life imposed by state and local governments in a bid to combat the spread of the disease, has left many independent music venues without any measurable source of income since March.
Rep. Kind decided to support the act after speaking with Jason Anderson, Executive Director of the nonprofit Pablo Center in Eau Claire, which reached out to Rep. Kind’s office to express his concern over the crisis.
“As the first to close and last to open, independent art centers– like the Pablo Center here in Western Wisconsin – across the country are at risk of closing,” said Kind. “In this time of such uncertainty and darkness, we cannot allow the light of the arts to go out. I am proud of the work we’ve done to put together a bipartisan proposal to help gems like the Pablo Center continue to thrive when this crisis ends.”
“Venues are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. These entertainment centers are part of every community’s identity, but state mandates have created financial hardship and put them at risk of permanent closure. The bipartisan legislation Congressman Kind and I introduced will help these cultural centers survive these unprecedented times so they can re-open in the future,” added Rep. Mike Kelly.
The ENCORES Act will allow music venues to recoup some of the loses they have experienced due to ticket refunds from canceled events by providing a tax credit of 50% for the value of tickets that have been refunded for shows affected by coronavirus cancellations.
To be eligible for the credit, businesses must promote, produce, or manage: live concerts, comedy shows, sporting events, and live theatrical productions; have 500 or fewer eligible employees, and must have offered a voucher to customers who then opted for a refund instead.
The legislation has already been endorsed by the National Independent Venue Assocation (NIVA).
“Not only do we have no revenue and enormous overhead, it’s much worse,” said Adam Hartke, co-chair of NIVA’s Advocacy Committee and president of Hartke Presents. “When shows were cancelled due to the pandemic, it was like a vacuum cleaner to our bank accounts, causing hundreds of millions in negative revenue at the worst possible time. The ENCORES Act is incredibly helpful to independent, mom and pop venues across America fighting to survive and we’re grateful that Reps. Kind and Kelly are fighting along with us.“