A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the United States Senate that would provide relief to independent concert venues in the U.S. hit hard due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Per Pollstar, the “Save Our Stages Act” was introduced today (July 22) by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Amy Kobuchar (D-MN). The bill will “…authorize the appropriation of $10 billion for SBA grants of up to the lesser of 45 percent of operation costs or $12 million of 2019 operational costs.”
These grants could be used by venues toward a number of costs including “rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, PPE procurement, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases, and capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines.”
In a statement on the “Save Our Stages Act,” Sen. Cornyn said, “Texas is home to a number of historic and world-class small entertainment venues, many of which remain shuttered after being the first businesses to close. The culture around Texas dance halls and live music has shaped generations, and this legislation would give them the resources to reopen their doors and continue educating and inspiring Texans beyond the coronavirus pandemic.”
Sen. Kobuchar added, “Minnesota’s concert halls, theatres, and places of entertainment, like First Avenue in Minneapolis, where Prince famously performed, have inspired generations with the best of local music, art, and education. This legislation would help ensure that small entertainment venues can continue to operate and serve our communities for generations to come.”
Last month, the National Independent Venue Association sent a letter to Congress that was signed by over 600 musicians and entertainers asking for federal assistance because, “90% of independent venues report that if the shutdown lasts six months and there’s no federal assistance, they will never reopen again.”