The Restart Act seeks to extend government aid to struggling music venues
It is no secret that the music industry has been hit exceptionally hard by the COVID-19 lockdowns. With so many venues dependent on regularly hosting live shows to survive, indefinite closures are becoming increasingly common. Although America still has a long way to go before concerts make their return, a new bill making its way through Congress could help venues stay afloat.
A recent report from NPR’s Andrew Limbong discusses The Restart Act, a new bill created to offer federal aid to struggling venues. Limbong talked about the bill and its rationale and aims with National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) spokesperson, Audrey Fix Schaefer, who stated,
We did a survey of NIVA members a couple of months ago and found out that 90% of them said that if the shutdowns lasted six months or more and there was no federal help, they would never open again.
NIVA members include 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., and the Knockdown Center in Queens, New York, who figure on NIVA’s sprawling list of participating venues across the nation. The Restart Act, which as already been backed by corporate giants Amazon, Spotify, and Youtube, will offer flexible loans to small business owners with lenient loan forgiveness options as a result of declining income.
Fix Schaefer describes this bill as the “last chance” for surviving venues. Co-sponsor of the bill, Senator Todd Young, is hopeful that it will be passed by August. Listen to the full interview here.
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