As of today, Congressional leaders have come to an agreement on a much needed $900 billion stimulus package. $15 billion of that stimulus package is said to be dedicated to funding for live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions, according to CNN. While the deal still needs to go through the House and Senate, the House is supposed to vote on the final relief package on Monday. However, if they don’t decide on the bill on Monday, the stimulus package won’t be officially confirmed until January.
The next stimulus package is set to aid many Americans and small businesses that have suffered throughout the pandemic. Each adult and child is set to receive a check of up to $600. The Paycheck Protection Program package consists of a $284 billion check to help give aid to small businesses that are struggling. The remaining money owed will be given to education providers, child care assistance programs, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program and more.
In order for the package to be passed, many procedural steps will need to take place in order for both chambers to vote on it. Because this process is tedious, it can potentially cause it to take a longer amount of time to be passed than anticipated.
Over the course of the pandemic, small business live concert venues have struggled immensely because of the lack of help from the government. Venues have taken donations or found ways to still sell products in order to keep them afloat. Along with that, big name artists have participated in live stream concerts to raise money to help support the struggling venues. Since the beginning of the shutdown, the live events industry has lost over $30 billion because of the pandemic.
Save Our Stages Fest is the main festival that took place this year to raise funds for those in the independent music scene. Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews, Marshmello and more all participated in the three-day virtual festival that took place mid-October. The Save Our Stages Act was publicly introduced at the end of July by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Texas’ John Cornyn. The act was created in hopes to provide support for independent music venues that had been impacted by the pandemic.
Chuck Schumer, Senator of New York, has been pushing for the next stimulus bill to include funding for these struggling venues. “These venues are so important to my state and so many other states across the country. They are the lifeblood of our communities. They were the first to close and will be the last to open. This bill gives them a fighting chance,” said Schumer on how the pandemic has affected the industry. While it has yet to be officially confirmed, it’s possible that the new package could possibly be replacing the Save Our Stages bill.
Towards the beginning of the pandemic, The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) was introduced by many small venue owners and promoters. The organization was launched with the hopes of being able to support those who had to close their venues down due to the COVID-19 outbreak. “It’s just brutal right now, and the future is predictable to no one. Our first order of business is to push secure federal funding to preserve the ecosystem of live music venues and touring artists,” said Dayna Frank, board member of NIVA.