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INDIE VENUE RESCUE PACKAGE DETAILS EMERGE

A $15b package to help indie music venues and promoters is part of the $900b stimulus deal that Congress has agreed to pass.

The Save Our Stages Act provides for the establishment of a $15b Small Business Administration grant program for indie establishments.

Here are the details for Shuttered Venue Operators. 

The bill authorizes $15b for the SBA to make grants to eligible live-venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, performing-arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators or talent representatives who demonstrate a 25% reduction in revenues. 

There is a set-aside of $2b for eligible entities that employ not more than 50 full-time employees, and any amounts from this set-aside remaining after sixty days from the date of implementation of this program shall become available to all eligible applicants under this section. 

The SBA may make an initial grant of up to $10m to an eligible person or entity and a supplemental grant that is equal to 50% of the initial grant.

In the initial 14-day period of implementation of the program, grants shall only be awarded to eligible entities that have faced 90 percent or greater revenue loss. In the 14-day period following the initial 14-day period, grants shall only be awarded to eligible entities that have faced 70% or greater revenue loss. After these two periods, grants shall be awarded to all other eligible entities. 

Such grants shall be used for specified expenses such as payroll costs, rent, utilities and personal protective equipment. 

The bill requires the Administrator to conduct increased oversight of eligible persons and entities receiving these grants. The SBA is further required to submit a report to the Senate and House Small Business Committees 45 days after enactment detailing its oversight and audit plan for shuttered-venue grants and to provide monthly updates on the oversight and audit activities conducted by the Administrator.

Of the package, introduced in the Senate by Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX), co-sponsor Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said: “I am especially pleased that this bill will provide money for bars and restaurants, and $15 billion in SBA grants for theatre operators and small venue owners through the Save Our Stages Act. These venues are so important to my state and many states across the country—they are the lifeblood of our communities. They were first to close, and will be the last to open. The bill gives them a fighting chance.”

The National Independent Venue Association, formed when the pandemic-related shutdown began and boasting more than 3,000 members, was naturally thrilled with the bill’s pending passage. Dayna Frank, owner & CEO of First Avenue Productions and Board President of NIVA, said: “We’re also incredibly grateful that this bill provides Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which will help the millions of people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during this economic crisis. We urge swift passage of this legislation, which will assist those in the greatest need and ensure the music lives on for generations to come.” 

A statement from Recording Academy Chair/Interim Prez/CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said the org "is pleased that Congress heard the call of thousands of music creators and included protections for the music community in the omnibus bill. In addition to extended and improved unemployment benefits and small business loans for freelance creators, the package includes several bills which the Recording Academy, its members, and the larger music community advocated for. From the Save Our Stages Act, which provides a lifeline to performance venues and promoters, to the CASE Act, which creates an avenue for smaller creators to defend their copyrighted works, Congress has ensured that both music creators and those who act behind the scenes to bring music to life are given the support they need during this difficult time."      

 

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