WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer today announced that he’s signed on as a co-sponsor for bipartisan legislation aimed at providing financial relief for the independent live sector as it grapples with the financial realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Independent venues, like theaters and concert halls, are the beating heart of New York’s cultural life and a driving force in the economy. These local businesses were among the first to shut down at the start of the pandemic, are struggling to stay afloat, and will be among the last to reopen,” said Senator Schumer during a press conference on Tuesday. “That’s why it’s so important to provide dedicated federal assistance to independent venues so when it is safe, we can gather again for music, comedy, theater and other live performances in venues that have been around for generations. I’m proud to co-sponsor the Save Our Stages Act, and I’ll fight to include federal funding for independent venues in any coronavirus relief legislation.”
The Save Our Stages Act (S. 4258), introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), is intended to throw a financial lifeline to small businesses in the live music sector who have seen nearly 100% of their revenue vanish since the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns began in March.
The House of Representatives has their own bipartisan version of the bill, (H.R. 7806) which was co-sponsored by Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Roger Williams (R-TX).
The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), an advocacy group for independent venus, said that as many as 90% of their more than 2000 members face permanent closure if the shutdown lasts for more than 6 months with no meaningful assistance from the federal government.
“Local independent scenes are the cultural lifeblood of our communities as well as an economic driver throughout America,” said NIVA Executive Director Rev. Moose. A Chicago study last year showed that for every $1 spent on a ticket at a local venue, $12 of economic activity was generated for area businesses such as restaurants, retailers, and hotels. “These mom and pop venues are unable to fully reopen until well into 2021 due to safety concerns posed by large gatherings. These institutions draw most of their revenue from acts that tour the United States, and until it’s safe to gather people en masse, it won’t be possible for venues to bring back their staff, which is one reason why the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) does not work for this industry.”
How can you help:
You can contact your Federal elected representative about this crucial issue via easy to use online contact tools that are available at: https://www.saveourstages.com
So far, concerned citizens have sent more than 1.8 million to their elected reps via the SaveOurStages site alone.