Live music and entertainment venues regain optimism with stimulus bill and Save Our Stages Act up for vote

Posted at 9:25 AM, Dec 21, 2020

CLEVELAND — Help is on the way for live music and entertainment venues after a summer poll found almost 90% of them expect to close without federal help.

The new COVID stimulus relief bill includes $15 billion going towards entertainment venues through the Save Our Stages Act.

While discussing the bill, Senator Chuck Schumer explained those venues were among the first to close at the start of the pandemic and are now the last to reopen.

“These venues are so important to my state and many states across the country they're the lifeblood of our community,” he said. “The bill gives them a fighting chance.”

The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) posted the following statement on Twitter, “we’re thrilled Congress has heard the call of shuttered independent venues across the country and provided us a crucial lifeline by including the Save Our Stages Act in the COVID-19 Relief Bill. We’re also incredibly grateful that this bill provides Pandemic Unemployment Assistance which will help the millions of people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during this economic crisis. We urge swift passage of this legislation which will assist those in the greatest need and ensure the music lives on for generations to come.”

The group represents 3,000 venues, including ones here in Northeast Ohio, which are mostly closed temporarily and considered in danger. Spots like the Beachland Ballroom even started taking donations online to stay afloat.

Some venues have not been able to qualify for PPP loans

“This bill is for them, for them to carry them to a brighter day,” Schumer said.

Some of these venues have not been able to get any money from the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP loans. Those that are closed are unable to qualify with a payroll limit requirement looming over them. However, the bill is supposed to help change that y offering help paying for things like rent, insurance and other expenses.