Nineteen prominent live entertainment companies, including major players such as AEG, Live Nation and The Broadway League, have requested for the expansion of the Payment Protection Act, which helps businesses keep their workforces employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Their calls for the Payment Protect Act requests an expansion to entertainment companies with 500 or fewer employees. They have also asked for an expansion of loans for mid-sized businesses under the CARES Act and the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending program.
“Our businesses were the first to close and will be the last to reopen,” reads a memo sent to Billboard. “Without immediate financial assistance, the future of the public entertainment and event industry is in question. Accordingly, Congress must act now to address the severe impact that governmental closures orders have had on this industry.”
Large entertainment companies such as AEG and Live Nation were forced to suspend all concert tours earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Billboard more than 25,000 jobs have been lost as a result of the pandemic, while the industry expects to face a loss of $10 to $12 billion this summer, which can potentially double if large gatherings are suspended until next year. Healthcare experts have suggested that concerts may not return until next fall at the earliest.
Both Live Nation and AEG have recently enacted refund policies for ticket holders who’s events have been cancelled or postponed by COVID-19. Live Nation just had $500 million worth of its shares purchased by Saudi Arabia, in a move which increased their stock value by two percent.