The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) has spent the past eight months working diligently with partner TwinLogic Strategies to advocate on behalf of all public assembly venues for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) relief, as well as expansion of the Save Our Stages Act to include a wider range of venues and venue operators, including government-owned venues.
The $900 Billion in new COVID relief funding passed by the House and Senate this week will include the much-needed subsidies and financial relief for which IAVM advocated.
“First, thank you to Congress for inserting our language into the bill and offering relief in the form of PPP to many of our public venues that are in dire need of financial support,”. stated Brad Mayne, CVE, IAVM President & CEO. “It’s certainly a step in the right direction, and we look forward to additional legislation to assist the professionals that serve their communities in these troubling times. We urge President Trump to sign the current relief package without delay.”
Mayne further noted that public venues have served their communities during the pandemic as hospitals, homeless shelters, logistic hubs, polling locations, and more. “We are thankful for their continued service in these troubling times. Thank you to the many volunteers, staff and leadership who have been working diligently to secure some stimulus from Congress.”
IAVM leadership, members and staff conducted countless conversations and letter writing campaigns with congressional members, Treasury, and other federal leaders to urging modifications to the PPP to allow quasi-governmental live event venues to qualify for the program and secure a new covered category of Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) for nonprofit entities that are a State, or a political subdivision of a State (including any instrumentality of such entities), engaged in and deriving the majority of their operating budget from revenue attributable to, providing live events.
“At a time of so much upheaval in our venues with doors closing overnight, staff members being furloughed or laid off, show cancellations for the next 12-18 months and the uncertainty of the cost of the modifications needed to our venues when we re-open, we are gratified that many of our member venue types are included in this new stimulus package passed by Congress,” said Tammy Koolbeck, CVE, IAVM Past Board Chair. “IAVM members have spent the last 8 months reaching out to congressional delegations in their states. We want to thank the over 100 congressional staffers that participated in calls with our members so they could hear first hand the depth of our daily realities of the pandemic impact. We were the first to close and will be among the last to open. Publicly created venues were left out of the CARES Act so the funding provided in this stimulus package will provide some relief to those venues. There will still be work to be done in the new year so that we leave no one behind. Thank you to Congress for recognizing the value of the live event industry to our communities and our impact on the economy.”
IAVM will aid its members with the relief application process, and continues to advocate for the public assembly venue industry regarding all legislative actions.