Around Town: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Presses for Relief for Independent Music Venues

Schumer Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) appears in front of Brooklyn Independent Venue Baby’s All Right with Elsewhere’s Druv Chopra, NIVA Executive Director Rev Moose, Baby’s All RIght’s Billy Jones, and Independent Artist Sean McVerry. (Photo courtesy NIVA)

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer yesterday announced at a press conference that he is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation aimed at providing relief to independent live venues, promoters and festivals across the nation. Since the pandemic shutdowns began in March, music venues, comedy clubs, and festivals have been shuttered with no revenue, high overhead and no timeline for when they can fully reopen. The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) said that if the shutdown lasts six months or longer and there’s no meaningful federal assistance, 90 percent of its members would be forced to fold forever.

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Around Town: Senate Heavy Hitters Back Coronavirus Relief for Music Venues

The Honorable John Cornyn (R-Texas) of the U.S. Senate
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) speaks to the Brookings Institution in 2016. (Photo courtesy Brookings Institution)

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) last week introduced the Save Our Stages Act, which would provide Small Business Administration grants for independent live music venue operators affected by COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. These grants would provide six months of financial support to keep venues afloat, pay employees, and preserve a critical economic sector for communities across America.

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Around Town: Bipartisan Congressional Coalition Supports Music Venues

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5)
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (R-Mo.) addresses the Third Way Think Tank on July 19, 2017. (Photo by Third Way Think Tank)

Congressman Roger Williams (R-Texas) and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) and 91 of their colleagues sent a bipartisan letter yesterday to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy urging congressional support for independent music venues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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