Relief Bill for Independent Live Music Venues Signed Into Law
by John Cornyn on December 29, 2020 at 1:51 PM
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and I released the following statements after the Save Our Stages Act, legislation we authored to provide Small Business Administration grants for independent live music venues, live performance arts organizations, or motion picture theatres affected by COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, was signed into law. These grants will provide financial support necessary to keep venues afloat, pay employees, and preserve a critical economic sector for communities across America.
Texas’ entertainment venues have endured nearly ten months of lost revenue and empty seats, and they have passionately led the fight to save live music from becoming a thing of the past. I’m grateful to my colleagues for helping these cultural landmarks be able to reopen their doors once again, and I’m looking forward to seeing future generations of Texans learn our history through music at the world-class venues and dance halls that call the Lone Star State home.
“Independent venues were some of the first establishments to close down and will likely be some of the last to open. I refuse to sit by and let the music die, which is why I was proud to introduce the bipartisan Save our Stages Act,” Sen. Klobuchar said. “This funding will get small entertainment venues the help they need to make ends meet and serve our communities for generations to come.”
Small live music and entertainment venues have been hard-hit during the coronavirus pandemic, with 90 percent of venue owners, promoters, and bookers reporting they are at risk of closing without additional financial assistance and an estimated $9 billion in losses should ticket sales not resume until 2021. The Save Our Stages Act would:
- Narrowly define eligibility to ensure only small shuttered and at-risk venues qualify for federal grant funding
- Direct the SBA to make grants to eligible venues equal to the lesser of either 45 percent of operation costs from calendar year 2019 or $10 million
- Permit recipients to use grants for essential expenses incurred during the COVID pandemic
- Require recipients to return remaining funding after one year from the date of disbursement
- Permit recipients to use grants for rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, PPE procurement, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, state and local taxes, operating leases, and capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines
- Authorize the appropriation of $15 billion for the grant program