Independent theaters / concert halls to receive $ 15 billion in incentive package
Concert halls and independent theaters that hung on during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic should finally receive some relief when Congress votes on the second pandemic stimulus bill, as they are expected to do on Monday . The global $ 900 billion deal sends aid to Americans in a variety of ways (including stimulus checks, although smaller than they were the first time around), but it also includes a special exception. for our beloved concert halls and theaters, in the form of the Save Our Stages law. In total, this part of the revival will provide around $ 15 billion to independent concert halls and independent cinemas over the next few months – desperately needed funds, given that the live entertainment / exhibition industry is virtually non-existent over the next few months. many markets since March 2020..
We don’t have specific numbers yet on how all of these funds will be distributed, but it’s important to note that these funds are specifically for independent theaters and venues, rather than large corporate chains. This seems to suggest that big movie chains such as AMC or Cinemark will not be included in those receiving funds through Save Our Stages, with the focus instead on thousands of independent concert halls and theaters. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the act in these terms, making a statement on the compromise bill that was reached on Sunday evening:
“Democrats have secured critical funding and policy changes to help small businesses, including minority-owned businesses, and nonprofits recover from the pandemic,” Pelosi wrote. “The deal includes over $ 284 billion for the first and second discount PPP loans, expanded PPP eligibility for nonprofits and local newspapers, TV and radio broadcasters, key changes to PPP to serve smaller businesses and struggling nonprofits and better support independent restaurants, and includes $ 15 billion in dedicated funding for theaters, independent theaters and cultural institutions. The deal also includes $ 20 billion for targeted EIDL grants, which are essential for many small Main Street businesses. ”
Senatorial Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Cosponsor of Save Our Stages, also said: Our scenes are acting. These sites are so important to my state and many states across the country – they are the lifeblood of our communities. They were the first to close and will be the last to open. The bill gives them a chance to fight.
In the end, even this aid program amounts to exactly that – just a chance to fight for these sites, given their almost complete inability to generate income during the pandemic. Some independent theaters have been successful in setting up “digital screening rooms” to digitally sell movie rentals in recent months, but this type of revenue replaces only a tiny fraction of what they would otherwise be doing. Concert halls have undoubtedly been even more affected, which Dough was trying to highlight in our recent series of 7 day live sessions in Nashville, Paste Studio on the Road. You can watch all these sessions here, Where via YouTube. The National Independent Venue Association estimates that 90% of independent sites nationwide were just weeks away from shutting down without help, so we should probably be thankful this holiday season that Congress at least managed to give a little hope to our beloved sites.
We’ll bring you more information about the Save Our Stages act and its impact on the venue / theater community as more details emerge.