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US biz faces “mass collapse” as Trump abandons talks

The National Independent Venue Association has urged president Donald Trump to come back to the negotiating table to avert disaster

By IQ on 07 Oct 2020

Vaudeville Mews, a NIVA member in Des Moines, Iowa, closed this week

Vaudeville Mews, a NIVA member in Des Moines, Iowa, closed this week


The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has urged US president Donald Trump to work with legislators on emergency funding for the live sector, after Trump announced he is walking away from talks over further stimulus funding until after 3 November’s presidential election.

Trump, who is recovering from Covid-19, said yesterday (6 October) he has instructed aides to stop negotiations on a new stimulus package until after the election. “Immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill [sic] that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business,” he tweeted.

Rival presidential candidate Joe Biden accused Trump of “turn[ing] his back” on Americans hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. “If you are out of work, if your business is closed, if your child’s school is shut down, if you are seeing layoffs in your community, Donald Trump decided today that none of that – none of it – matters to him,” said Biden.

Trump’s tweet came as an unwelcome surprise to NVIA, which is counting on the speedy passage of the Save Our Stages Act – part of the wider ‘Heroes Act’ stimulus package – to support the grassroots venue sector through a difficult winter.

“This is real. We need help. We urge Congress and the White House to continue negotiations”

In a statement, NIVA’s director of communications, Audrey Fix Schaefer, says anything less than the immediate resumption of talks would be disastrous for its hundreds of member venues.

“We have been sounding the alarm since April that if our members don’t get emergency assistance, they will go under forever – and it’s happening,” comments Fix Schaefer.

“This is real. We need help. We urge Congress and the White House to continue negotiations and reach a deal quickly or there will be a mass collapse of this industry.

“The Save Our Stages Act has already passed the House [of Representatives] and has strong bipartisan support, with more than 160 Congresspeople cosponsoring, because they know independent venues can be part of our country’s economic renewal once it’s safe to welcome people back – if our venues can survive this pandemic.”

“We’re also hoping for the sake of our furloughed employees that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance will be extended, as people are suffering through no fault of their own,” she adds.

 


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