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Proponents of RESTART Act Look for Congressional Support in 2021

PLSN Staff • News • December 22, 2020

Bandit Lites’ Michael T. Strickland testified Dec. 15

WASHINGTON, DC – While segments of the live event industry were cheered by the inclusion of $15 billion in #SaveOurStages-related funding within the $900 billion in Covid relief funding that won bipartisan support from Congress this week, others who had been pushing for the RESTART Act were less sanguine.

“If the RESTART Act is not passed in January, the Live Events Industry will perish,” noted Bandit Lites on Dec. 22, in a press release detailing founder and chair Michael T. Strickland’s Dec. 15 testimony to Congress, before the $900 billion package agreement was announced Dec. 20.

Bandit Lites’ Dec. 22 press release follows:

Michael T. Strickland Testifies Before Senate

WASHINGTON, DC – Bandit Lites Founder and Chair Michael T. Strickland testified before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection on December 15 about the effect of COVID-19 on the Live Event Industry. This testimony led to the passage of the new COVID Relief bill today.

Strickland has worked as the most visible and vocal advocate for the Live Event Industry since March 14th of this year. Senators Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn are longtime friends of Strickland and he called on them for assistance day one.

The Live Event industry has been closed since March 13, 2020 and will be closed until June of 2021. Almost every firm in the Live Event industry has laid off their staff, has zero income and cannot borrow money because their financial conditions are in ruins. The only path to existence is the RESTART Act before Congress. RESTART would provide a 7-year, low-interest loan that will allow the over 500,000 companies and 10 million people to survive.

While the struggling restaurant industry receives massive media coverage daily, the plight of the Live Event industry is unknown. The entire industry faces extinction, not just individual companies. If the RESTART Act is not passed in January, the Live Events Industry will perish.

The testimony can be viewed in this link to CSPAN.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?507290-1/hearing-covid-19-impact-live-event-entertainment-industry

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