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Outside Mulcahy’s Pub & Concert Hall, Standing With LI Names Like ‘Taking Back Sunday’ Shaun Cooper, ‘Blue Oyster Cult’ Alan Bouchard, Michael DelGuidice & More, Schumer Details Plight Of Local Venues That Need Fed Help NOW

Schumer Pushes Bipartisan Legislation To Dedicate Fed Assistance That Can Provide Long-Term, Flexible Relief To LI Venues Amid COVID Blow

Schumer: We Have Got To Rock & Roll On Plan To Keep LI Music Venues & Local Economy In Tune

Standing alongside ‘Taking Back Sunday,’ ‘Blue Oyster Cult,’ Brian Byrne of ‘Envy on the Coast,’ ‘Violent Joy,’ Michael DelGuidice & more, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer pushed a bipartisan plan to save the many stages of Long Island. Schumer explained how the stages of the Island —from music to comedy & more—are in real peril amid COVID-19. They have no revenue right now and their live venues are in trouble. Schumer said Long Island CANNOT lose live venues, because they help make small business on the Island rock and the local economy as a whole roll.

Schumer pushed to provide federal relief for Long Island’s live events via the Save Our Stages Act. He explained that the legislation would create a $10 billion Small Business Administration program (SBA) to provide grants 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. Schumer said Long Island would see a lion’s share of this federal pot of funds because of its proximity to the city, and that we have to get it done.

“We have got to rock and roll on a plan that keeps Long Island’s music and other live venues–along with the local economy—in tune, and this plan will help,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Independent venues, like those hosted by Mulcahy’s Pub, other concert halls, pubs and more are the beating heart of Long Island’s cultural life and a driving force of the larger New York 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.”

Schumer explained, 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 Mulcahy’s and other venues across the Island—from jazz, to concert, theater and more. Schumer’s push comes on the heels of the first venue closure on Long Island—Revolution Bar & Music Hall announced it was closing its doors permanently earlier this month. Schumer explained that a 2019 report by Long Island’s Tourism Bureau, Discover Long Island, determined that tourism on Long Island is valued at $5.9 billion and generates more than $725 million in state and local taxes. Schumer said that the independent theatres on Long Island are a cornerstone of the tourism industry and that losing them would be a massive blow to Long Island’s local economy.

“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 comedy, music, theater and other live performances in venues that have been around for generations. The Save Our Stages Act will help these places keep the lights and the laughs on, and I’ll fight to include this funding in upcoming legislation,” Schumer said.  

Schumer said that live venues are a part of one of the hardest hit industries right now. He says they 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 through 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. And he said, the impact on Long Island –without federal help—could be a curtain closer.

“We cannot—and we must not—let the curtain close on Long Island’s live venues—I will fight tooth and nail here because the shows must go on,” Schumer added.  

“This issue, saving our stages, these venues—what it really means is multiple millions of dollars and thousands of jobs for Long Island,” he added.

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.