As most states across the country begin to reopen and enact social distancing guidelines, the live music industry still has yet to find the same light at the end of the tunnel.
In an effort to combat the loss of business, over 2,000 music venues across the country formed the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).
A new survey of NIVA members found that 90% of independent venues will permanently close in the next few months without federal funding. The association says the Paycheck Protection Program that is currently in place is not sufficient.
The association was formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has already called on Congress for aid. The association is seeking to adjust the current PPP in order to meet the needs of independent venues. In specific, the association seeks the equivalent of six months worth of payroll, benefits, and fixed operating costs such as rent, mortgage, utilities, taxes, and insurance.
NIVA acknowledges the indefinite shutdown and the likelihood it will extend into 2021, making independent venues among the last businesses to reopen. Because of this, the association is also asking Congress for loan forgiveness and tax credits related to ticket refunds, safe workplace initiatives, employee retention, and expansion of PPP to cover salary and benefits for part-time employees.
The association also cited the economic impact venues have on local communities as they bring nearly $10 billion a year.
Artists that have advocated on behalf of NIVA members include Billy Joel, Lady Gaga, Willie Nelson, Kacey Musgraves, Neil Young, Wycleaf Jean, The Lumineers, The Black Keys, Zac Brown Band, and many more.