Congress has agreed on a new bipartisan COVID relief bill that will set aside $15 billion for independent music venues, theaters, and other cultural institutions.
The relief comes as part of a $900 billion stimulus package aimed at helping unemployment, struggling businesses and vaccine distribution. With both sides coming to an agreement yesterday, it’s expected to be voted on today before going to the President to be signed into law.
The deal also included a $600 stimulus check for most Americans.
Back in June, a survey of independent music venues owners said many of them would be lucky to survive the pandemic. Conducted by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), it found that 90% of independent music venues won’t survive the pandemic if they don’t receive federal funding soon.
And some states won’t open venues until a vaccine is found and widely distributed to the general which could still be months away.
Back in July, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Save Our Stages Act which is essentially included in the new relief package.
It allows venues to spend federal money on things like rent, utilities, PPE, and other expenses, so they could meet newly established safety standards.
We did it! The relief package includes my bill with @JohnCornyn w/all the funding we requested to #SaveOurStages. Thanks to musicians, fans & friends for the grassroots work to convince people in D.C. that music & theaters & venues are key to our American economy & culture. 🎶