A new bill introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) aims to provide much needed relief to independent music venues.
With independent music venues taking a massive hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Save Our Stages Act aims to help those affected by the shutdown. The act is a proposed $10 billion Small Business Administration grant program designed to provide six months of financial support to help keep independent music venues afloat, pay employees and staff, and help preserve an economic sector that has been shut down in most states since mid-March.
“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,” Senator Cornyn said in a statement.
“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.”
The act has been endorsed by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), which said back in June that 90% of independent venues will permanently close without federal funding.
The Save Our Stages Act would permit venues to use grant money for costs incurred during the pandemic. Additionally, funds can be used for rent, utilities, mortgage, PPE procurement, contractor payments, maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating lease, and capital expenditures.
“This legislation would help ensure that small entertainment venues can continue to operate, and serve our communities for generations to come,” Senator Klobuchar said in a statement.
The bipartisan bill would also allow for the possibility of “supplemental grants” if future funding is necessary.