Congress introduces another new bill to benefit independent venues
Independent music venues are in dire straits as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to stymie live music events, translating to cancellations throughout the remainder of 2020. Shortly after the proposal of The Restart Act comes another bill aimed at keeping struggling venues afloat, the Entertainments New Credit Opportunity for Relief & Economic Sustainability (ENCORES) Act.
The ENCORES Act would offer venues a tax credit for 50 percent of the value of any refunded tickets. In order to be considered for these benefits, venues would have be in the business of promoting and/or putting on live events, have 500 or fewer employees, and have initially offered vouchers for future redemption prior to refunds.
Congressional representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) unveiled the bill on July 23, just one day after the introduction of the Save our Stages Act, also developed to aid independent music venues. If passed, the Save our Stages Act would create a $10 billion Small Business Administration grant program for these businesses. Under the Act, approved grantees would secure six months of support for their respective venues.
Notably, the ENCORES Act, like The Restart Act, has gained the support of the National Independent Venue Association, whose sprawling list of members includes music spaces across the nation, such as 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., and the Knockdown Center in Queens, New York.
Featured image: Lisa A. Walker