The heavy impact of Covid-19 cast uncertainty over the future of venues and concert halls across the United States, but a new fund has given business owners renewed hope of survival and help those on the brink of closure. A new aid package known as the American Rescue Package – worth $1.9 billion – was passed by the Senate and House of Representatives, and signed into law by US President Joe Biden [11 March]. The aid includes a fund of $1.25 billion for the Save Our Stages Act with efforts largely contributed by those in the live music industry. The fund is set to rescue struggling venues from bankruptcy.
The new aid allows eligible venues to apply for loans to help them stay afloat. These grants of income allow venues to keep their heads above water until the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) programme has been set up. The Small Business Administration (SBA) expects to begin accepting applications in early April.
NIVA (National Independent Venue Association), a group of over 3,000 independent venues in 50 states, has been at the forefront of a push for funding to help venues across the United States survive, asking senators and representatives to provide long-term assistance for shuttered businesses. In a statement, the chair of the board of directors for NIVA, Dayna Frank, said: “This change can save countless halls from bankruptcy, as the money will help them to last until the available funds are paid.”
Although the Covid-19 storm ravages on, the horizon for the music industry is beginning to look a lot brighter. Even with the new aid passed, it could take many weeks, even months for the funding to flow. You can play your part in saving venues up and down the United States by donating here.
Today, we observe the one year mark since stages across the country went dark. Locked doors. No shows. It’s been a struggle to survive, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. We can’t wait to be back. #OneYearDark #SaveOurStages pic.twitter.com/e8do1y1kei
— NIVA | #SaveOurStages (@nivassoc) March 13, 2021
Image Credit: Rukes.com