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$900B Covid Relief Agreement to Include $15B in #SaveOurStages Related Funding

PLSN Staff • News • December 22, 2020

National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) issued a note of gratitude on

WASHINGTON, DC – The $900 billion Covid relief package that won bipartisan support in Congress will include “$15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions,” according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who issued a statement Dec. 20.

While that represents a 50 percent increase over the $10 billion originally sought with the Save Our Stages Act introduced in July, the types of entertainment venues eligible for the funds has also reportedly expanded to include movie theaters, museums and zoos.

Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) along with House members Peter Welch (D-VT) and Roger Williams (R-TX) backed the original Save Our Stages Act to support small, independent entertainment venues that play a vital role in the economic ecosystems of arts districts around the U.S.

The full text of the bill, released Dec. 21, noted that, to be eligible for loans and grants, companies must have lost more than 25 percent of their revenue compared to the year before. If signed into law, as expected, by President Trump, the funding will be structured to go to the neediest recipients first.

Applications for aid from those in the most dire straits – with 90 percent revenue losses – would be processed first, followed by others with less urgent needs for aid. Applicants can seek funding for up to six months of payroll and costs including rent, utilities and maintenance, with the total capped at $10 million.

The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) credited all the people in the industry and beyond “who sent 2.1 million emails to their elected officials” for Save Our Stages’ strong bi-partisan support.

NIVA pledged to work with the SBA to streamline the flow of aid and also announced that their NIVA Emergency Relief Fund would continue to accept donations to provide venues with additional support until the Covid economic crisis eases.

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