While the reality that Americans receiving only $600 in extra stimulus as part of the new COVID-19 relief bill passed by congress this week is disheartening, and honestly insulting, there is a silver lining in that the Save Our Stages relief bill has officially passed, as well.
On Monday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a statement noting the bill includes “$15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.”
This is money that our live venues have desperately needed to stay in business with the full-stop of live shows over the past 9 months.
“The legislation provides critical help to shuttered businesses by providing a grant equal to 45% of gross revenue from 2019, with a cap of $10 million per entity,” the National Independent Venues Association said in a statement Monday night following the bill’s passage. “This grant funding will ensure recipients can stay afloat until reopening by helping with expenses like payroll and benefits, rent and mortgage, utilities, insurance, PPE, and other ordinary and necessary business expenses.”
Amy Klobuchar estimated the bill will help venues cover six months of expenses, which should hopefully be enough to get the industry back on its feet, especially with the vaccine here and already being disseminated. “We’re very hopeful that once the summer comes that we’re going to see more and more openings because of the vaccines because of what I hope will be with the new administration and increased emphasis on testing,” she said. “And that we’ll see more and more venues be able to open. The grants can be used to cover all the major costs the venues have to pay to stay in business including rent and mortgage utilities, employee wages, key benefits, maintenance costs, state and local taxes, payments to contractors, purchases of protective equipment.”
via Rolling Stone