SCHUMER: CENTRAL NEW YORK’S INDEPENDENT MUSIC VENUES ARE LIFEBLOOD OF LOCAL CULTURE & ECONOMY BUT NEED ACCESS TO CRITICAL FED RELIEF ASAP TO WEATHER IMPACT OF COVID-19; STANDING AT SYRACUSE’S HISTORIC WESTCOTT THEATER SENATOR PUSHES BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION, THE SAVE OUR STAGES ACT, TO PROVIDE VITAL SUPPORT FOR INDEPENDENT LIVE EVENT VENUES ACROSS CENTRAL NEW YORK
Senator Says Independent Music & Live Event Venues Have Lost Nearly All Revenue Since The Start Of The Pandemic And Need Federal Assistance To Weather The Economic Impact Of COVID-19
Independent Venues Are In Dire Need Of Dedicated Assistance That Can Provide Long-Term, Flexible Relief
Schumer: Live Event Venues Are A Driving Force Of The Capital Region’s Economy & Culture, But Fed $$ Is Vital To Stay Afloat, Recover & Rebuild From Health–And Economic—Pandemic
Warning that independent music and live event venues throughout Central New York and the rest of the state face an uncertain future without dedicated federal assistance, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, standing at Westcott Theater, today pushed to provide vital support for independent live event and music venues through the bipartisan Save Our Stages Act (S. 4258). Schumer, a cosponsor of the legislation, said that 90% of independent venues report that they will have to close permanently without federal funding, according to a survey of National Independent Venue Association members. Schumer said that the bipartisan Save Our Stages Act is crucial to saving independent venues, like concert halls, theaters, and other places of entertainment, including The Westcott Theater, Syracuse Stage, The Red House, Landmark Theatre, Neslon Odeon and the 443 Social Club, which generate economic activity within communities and host popular events for Central New Yorkers. Schumer said the Senate needs to act in an immediate way if independent venues are going to stay afloat and he will fight to include federal assistance for independent venues in any upcoming coronavirus relief legislation.
“Independent venues, like theaters and concert halls, are the beating heart of New York’s cultural life and a driving force in Central New York’s economy. These local businesses were among the first to shut down at the start of the pandemic, are struggling to stay afloat, and will be among the last to reopen,” said Senator Schumer. “That’s why it’s so important to provide dedicated federal assistance to independent venues so when it is safe, we can gather again for music, comedy, theater and other live performances in venues that have been around for generations. I’m proud to cosponsor the Save Our Stages Act, and I’ll fight to include federal funding for independent venues in coronavirus relief legislation.”
Schumer explained that live venues are part of one of the hardest hit industries and need dedicated assistance for long-term, flexible relief that would be available through the Save our Stages Act. If venues remain closed through 2020, it is estimated that live venues across the country will lose $9 billion in ticket sales alone. Independent venues not only drive economic activity within communities in restaurants, hotels, taxis and other transportation and retail establishments, but live events provide 75% of all artists’ income. Schumer warned that without federal aid, the economic impact of COVID-19 on live venues is insurmountable.
Specifically, in Onondaga County alone, the art and culture industry typically generates $13,796,743 in local government revenue and 5,906 full-time equivalent jobs. The total industry’s impact is estimated to be over $148 million for the county, highlighting the potential economic effects independent music and live venue closures could have on the entire region.
The bipartisan Save Our Stages Act (S. 4258) would create a new $10 billion Small Business Administration (SBA) program to provide grants of up to $12 million to eligible live venue operators, producers, promoters, or talent representatives to help cover six months of operating expenses and offset the economic impact of COVID-19. These grants can be used for payroll costs, rent, mortgage, utilities, and personal protective equipment, among other needs. The legislation has 28 bipartisan cosponsors, including Senator Schumer and is supported by countless artists, performers, and industry advocates, including the Foo Fighters, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Jimmy Buffett, Coldplay, Vampire Weekend, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, National Independent Venue Association, Recording Academy, Spotify, Association of Performing Arts Professionals, and many others.
Schumer will be joined by representatives of The Westcott Theater, Syracuse Stage, The Red House, Landmark Theatre, Nelson Odeon, the 443 Social Club and local artists.
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