Among the nearly 5,600 pages of the stimulus package that Congress passed on Monday night (12/22) is the $15b Save Our Stages Act designed to help the struggling independent live-music industry. Music-industry orgs praised the bill’s passage.

The Recording Academy, RIAA, A2IM, Artist Rights Alliance, Music Artists Coalition, Nashville Songwriters Association International, SAG-AFTRA and Songwriters of North America said in a collective statement:

“This legislation is a much-needed lifeline for so many in the music industry who have faced loss and uncertainty for far too long through no fault of their own. We are very grateful for the extension of vital CARES Act benefits including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the inclusion of the Save Our Stages Act, which will make billions of dollars in grants available to venues and live-entertainment workers who have been unable to do their jobs for months. We are also thrilled by the inclusion of a dedicated $100 weekly benefit for mixed earners. Simply put, these relief provisions will save lives and livelihoods, and they are a substantial step on the road to recovery.

“We also welcome the inclusion of consensus-driven intellectual-property reforms in the omnibus bill. The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act and Protect Lawful Streaming Act (PLSA) will strengthen creators’ ability to protect their works against infringement online and promote a safer, fairer digital environment, which are particularly needed as the arts struggle to survive the pandemic. We look forward to continuing our work to provide greater relief to the American creative community.”

Specifics of the Save Our Stages Act included in the $900b stimulus package:

The bill authorizes $15b for the SBA to make grants to eligible venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, performing-arts-organization operators, museum operators, motion-picture theater 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 60 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% 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.

Also, if we ever get to do lunch again, order the Dom; business meals are now 100% deductible.