Congress Passes Save Our Stages Act as Part of COVID-19 Relief Legislation
Legislators in the US House of Representatives and Senate reached an agreement on a second stimulus package, which provides some $900 billion in pandemic relief, including to struggling independent venues as part of the Save Our Stages Act.
The bill’s official language is not yet fully public, but Senators Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement saying that the they “have reached agreement with Republicans and the White House on an emergency coronavirus relief and omnibus package that delivers urgently needed funds to save the lives and livelihoods of the American people as the virus accelerates.”
Schumer, an outspoken advocate of Save Our Stages, also spoke about it on the Senate floor:
I’m especially pleased this this bill will provide money for bars and restaurants, and $15 billion in SBA grants for theater operators and small venue operators through the Save Our Stages Act. These venues are so important to my state and so many other states across the country. They are the lifeblood of our communities. They were the first to close and will be the last to open. This bill gives them a fighting chance.
The bill allows cultural entities such as music venues and movie theaters to apply for these small Business Administration grants to support six months of payments to employees and for operating costs including rent, utilities and maintenance. Applicants must prove losses of at least 25-percent of their revenue to qualify, and those that have lost more than 90-percent can apply first.
We secured the #SaveOurStages Act for indie music venues, Broadway, comedy clubs, indie movie theaters, and more.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 21, 2020