Shuttered venues in US bolstered by extra $1.25bn
Struggling concert halls in the US will receive additional aid, thanks to a $1.9 billion stimulus package passed by the Senate and House of Representatives on Wednesday (10 March) and signed into law by President Joe Biden the following day.
The new aid package, known as the American Rescue Package, includes an additional $1.25bn for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG), also known as the Save Our Stages Act, which was part of last year’s aid package.
However, a new amendment to the Save Our Stages Act, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, enables venue owners to apply for additional federal help – unlike the original act which prohibited them from applying for both a grant and a loan to protect their employees’ salaries.
“This change can save countless halls from bankruptcy, as the money will help them to last until the available funds are paid”
“This change can save countless halls from bankruptcy, as the money will help them to last until the available funds are paid,” said Dayna Frank, chair of the board of directors of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and CEO of First Avenue Productions in Minneapolis, in a statement.
Eligible venue operators can now apply for the new round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP2) loans that closes on 31 March to help them stay afloat until the Small Business Administration (SBA) has set up the SVOG programme, which has yet to announce a launch date.
Thank you @SenSchumer for helping struggling music venues with the added lifeline in the American Rescue Plan expected to become law tmw. Your amendment can save countless venues from bankruptcy—immediate PPP2 funds will help them hold on until SVOG flows. https://t.co/xhsv244mxz
— NIVA | #SaveOurStages (@nivassoc) March 11, 2021
The $15bn SVOG programme/Save Our Stages Act for theatre operators and small venue owners was passed by US Congress in December 2020, as part of a wider $900bn Covid-19 stimulus package.
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