New House Coronavirus Relief Bill Includes $10B To Save Music Venues

A new version of the Heroes Act including the $10 billion requested in the bipartisan Save Our Stages Act designed to help U.S. independent music and live-entertainment venues was introduced in the House of Representatives Monday.

While far from becoming law, inclusion in the House bill is a major step forward for NIVA and NITO, the two top organizations lobbying on behalf of the independent live music community.

From Section 619 of the Heroes Act
“Grants for Independent Live Venue Operators (H.R. 7806, Save our Stages Act or the SOS Act) 37 1. Authorizes $10 Billion for the SBA to make grants to eligible live venue operators, producers, promoters, or talent representatives to address the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on certain live venues. 2. The SBA may make an initial grant of up to $12 million dollars to an eligible operator, promoter, producer, or talent representative; and a supplemental grant that is equal to 50% of the initial grant. 3. Such grants shall be used for specified expenses such as payroll costs, rent, utilities, and personal protective equipment.”

“We’re incredibly grateful that this piece of legislation encompasses the provisions of the bipartisan Save Our Stages Act,” said NIVA’s Audrey Fix Schaefer. “We also thank Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and Representative Velásquez (D-NY) for their leadership in recognizing the unique and perilous situation independent venues face since we have been shuttered for more than six months with no revenue, enormous overhead, and no foreseeable timeframe until we can fully reopen across the country.”

“We’re cautiously optimistic our elected officials understand that if they assist us now, we can be part of the economic renewal of small towns and big cities, since for every $1 spent on a concert ticket at a small venue, $12 of economic activity is generated for area businesses like restaurants, retail shops, and hotels,” she continued. “This investment will pay off for communities and workers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.”