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Independent music venues in serious danger due to COVID-19 | News | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS
MALI MAEDER

Independent music venues in serious danger due to COVID-19

The estimate of venues facing peril goes up to 90%

National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), recently conducted a new survey about the consequences of coronavirus shutdown.

According to the estimates in the survey by this Association which represents 2,000 members in all 50 US states, “90% of its members say they will be forced to cease operations permanently if the shutdown lasts six months or longer and there’s no federal support provided.” (Consequence of Sound)

NIVA was actually formed in response to the pandemic and as a result of its research, it is “calling on Congress to adjust the existing Paycheck Protection Program so that it caters to the needs of independent venues. Specifically, the NIVA is seeking the equivalent of six months’ worth of payroll, benefits, and fixed operating costs such as rent/mortgage, utilities, taxes, and insurance that still need to be covered, even when venues are not permitted to be open.”

The organization is also requesting measures like loan forgiveness and tax credits that are tied to ticket refunds, but also for “employee retention, and safe workplace initiatives, as well as the expansion of the PPP to cover salary and insurance benefits for part-time employees, which make up a large percentage of venue staff.”

Some 150 members of the US Congress recently sent letters to both the US Senate and House of Representatives to that effect.

In the letter, it is said that “live event venues were among the first to close as COVID-19 spread across the country, and they are likely to be among the last to reopen.”

“Concerts and live events may not be possible until a vaccine is readily available to the public, which could be months away. Until that time, live event venues will remain shuttered, leaving employees without jobs and businesses without revenue. The continued closures will impact the hundreds of contractors, suppliers, and business partners that support the live entertainment industry in our states and districts.”

“These venues support the economies of communities across the country, are a crucial component of the music industry’s ecosystem, and serve as incubators and launch pads for the most popular talent in the world,” the letter continued. “We can provide a vital lifeline for the industry that will help to sustain the iconic venues that are central to the social, cultural, and economic fabric of so many of our communities. This industry is not going to make it without our help.”

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