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JOINT STATEMENT ON SENATE BILL

Leading artist rights and music companies on 4/21 applauded Senate passage of a bill to add $310b to the Small Business Administration’s COVID-19 loan programincluding $50b for loans for economic disaster aid. The House is expected to approve the bill later this week.

The music coalition includes the Artist Rights Alliance, American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), ASCAP, BMI, Global Music Rights (GMR), the Music Artists Coalition (MAC), National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Recording Academy, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), SESAC, the Songwriters of North America (SONA) and more.

In a joint statement, the organizations said:

“We applaud leaders of the Senate and House, Secretary Mnuchin, and the Administration who worked to find an agreement to include more funding for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. This action is an important next step to ensure the program has funds to reach all Americans who need it.

“Musicians, songwriters, and composers have had their ability to work upended by the pandemic. Because they often act as independent contractors and sole proprietors, traditional unemployment benefits fail to provide financial relief. That’s why it remains essential that the PPP make independent contractors and sole proprietors fully eligible for loans and loan forgiveness including accounting for lost wages and insurance costs during the eligibility period.

“Because time is of the essence in addressing this crisis, there has been understandable confusion about where to get a PPP loan, how to apply, and shifting guidance concerning necessary paperwork. States are also offering conflicting guidance about eligibility for new unemployment benefits provided in the CARES Act. In some states, updated application forms are still not yet widely available, and there are misunderstandings about the duration of eligibility for unemployment and the calculation of benefits.

“We applaud the Administration, Congress, and the States for moving forward with this relief and look forward to further improvements on this very good foundation to help all Americans get through this difficult time.”

Earlier this month, the music community came together to release MusicCovidRelief.com, spotlighting guidance and resource materials for the arts and entertainment communities. The website is designed to help make sense of the recently passed CARES Act and connect those in need to resources and relief opportunities.

Meanwhile, our version of small business relief is a pack of Rolaids and an oversized bowl of Raisin Bran.

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