A $10-Billion spending bill aimed at helping small performance venues weather the rough economy wrought by COVID-19 has been introduced in the U.S. Senate.
Called the Save Our Stages Act it is co-authored by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Texas Senator John Cornyn.
The bill looks to distribute the money over a six month period with individual venues able to apply for grants of up to $12 million.
The bill would allow for venues to apply for up to 45 percent of their 2019 operating costs, up to the $12 million cap, to help fund them if they anticipate being shuttered through the rest of the year.
Funds would be permitted to be used for rent, utilities, mortgage, PPE procurement, payment to contractors, maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases, or capital expenditures related to meeting social distancing guidelines.
Should the Save Our Stages Act pass, it would also allow the Small Business Administrator to issue supplemental grants in the future, should funding remain – it, however, does not currently feature a planned extension beyond the end of 2020.
Interestingly, the Save Our Stages Act seeks to “narrowly define independent live venue operators, promoters, and talent representatives to prevent large, international corporations from receiving federal grant funding.”
That means companies like Live Nation would be deliberately omitted from applying for the funding program.