WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — A bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators and Congressmen have introduced a bill to extend the eligibility window for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, to make it a little easier for venues impacted by the extended industry shutdown to weather the financial ravages of the pandemic.
The original Save Our Stages act, introduced last year, only allowed incurred costs to be claimed through Dec. 31, 2021. Under the provisions of the extension, the eligibility window would be for approved expenses will be expanded to March 11, 2023.
The new legislation does not expand on the $16 billion in funding provided to the initial Shuttered Venue Operator Grant program but would address additional challenges brought on by the rise of the Delta variant this summer, as well as delays in implementing the original SVOG program.
The Save Our Stages Extension Act was introduced on Wednesday by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL-13).
Following the introduction of the proposed legislation, the National Independent Venue Association applauded the enhancements to the Save Our Stages Act.
“We’re grateful that once again we have bipartisan support as we navigate as gathering places in the throes of this challenging time,” said Dayna Frank, President of the Board for the National Independent Venue Association and CEO of First Avenue Productions in Minneapolis. “These grants truly have saved our businesses, and with added time, we’ll be in the best position to maximize the use of taxpayers’ funds responsibly, ensuring our ability to thrive, hire employees, and be the economic engines of our communities.”
“The Save Our Stages Extension Act will maximize the positive impacts from this critical grant relief program, which has been essential to the survival of so many movie theaters and live event venues during the global public health crisis,” said John Fithian, National Association of Theater Owners president and CEO. “We extend our gratitude to Senators Amy Klobuchar and John Cornyn and Representatives Peter Welch and Rodney Davis for their continued leadership and tireless efforts on behalf of independently owned cinemas serving large and small communities throughout the country. We urge Congress to move quickly in support of this legislation.”