US Senators Introduce Save Our Stages Act In Support Of Independent Music Venues

By Andy Kahn Jul 24, 2020 10:16 am PDT

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Save Our Stages Act, which would financially support independent live music venues negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If passed, the bill would provide six months of Small Business Administration grants to qualifying independent venues.

The act is supported by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) whose president is Dayna Frank, CEO of Minneapolis-based independent venue First Avenue. The National Independent Talent Organization (NITO) also supports the legislation.

“Minnesota’s concert halls, theatres, and places of entertainment, like First Avenue in Minneapolis, where Prince famously performed, have inspired generations with the best of local music, art, and education,” Klobuchar said. “This legislation would help ensure that small entertainment venues can continue to operate, and serve our communities for generations to come.”

Among the components of the Save Our Stages Act include:

  • Narrowly define independent live venue operators, promoters, and talent representatives to prevent large, international corporations from receiving federal grant funding
  • Direct the SBA to make grants to eligible venues equal to the lesser of either 45 percent of operation costs from calendar year 2019 or $12 million
  • Allow the Small Business Administrator to issue supplemental grants in the future if funding remains available and applicants can demonstrate need
  • Permit recipients to use grants for costs incurred during the COVID pandemic
  • Require recipients to return remaining funding after one year from the date of disbursement
  • Permit recipients to use grants for rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, PPE procurement, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases, and capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines
  • Authorize the appropriation of $10 billion for the grant program

“Texas is home to a number of historic and world-class small entertainment venues, many of which remain shuttered after being the first businesses to close,” Cornyn said. “The culture around Texas dance halls and live music has shaped generations, and this legislation would give them the resources to reopen their doors and continue educating and inspiring Texans beyond the coronavirus pandemic.”

Follow this link to NIVA for more information regarding the Save Our Stages Act. NIVA also provides resources for contacting Congress to voice support for the bill.

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