Part of the stimulus bill would help save Austin music venues

Part of the stimulus bill would help save Austin music venues

The bill provides six months of financial assistance or $ 10 million to keep each venue afloat, whichever is cheaper.

Part of the stimulus package that was passed on Monday evening will help keep the venues open for live events. The Save Our Stages Act provides billions for independent venue operators affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m going to sleep really well tonight for the first time in a long time,” said Steve Sternschein, co-owner of Empire Control Room and Garage.

It’s been a year’s roller coaster ride for business owners around the world, but those who own venues for live events have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19 shutdown orders.

In a survey conducted by the National Independent Venue Association, 90 percent of promoters, promoters and bookers said they run the risk of permanently closing without federal funding. Some already have. “We have already lost a lot of clubs on the Red River,” said Sternschein.

When Congress passed a $ 900 billion stimulus package, it was music to the ears of independent event owners as $ 15 billion in grants from the Small Business Administration provide live independent venues. “From a venue perspective, it is the first time in about nine months that we have hope,” said Audrey Fix Schaefer, NIVA’s communications director.

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U.S. Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas helped draft the legislation.

In a statement, he wrote: “… I urge the President to swiftly incorporate this into law so that Texans can enjoy their favorite performers at dance halls and live music venues for years to come.”

The bill provides six months of financial assistance or $ 10 million to keep each venue afloat, whichever is cheaper. Still, it could be months before the money is available for difficult venues.

“I think that means that no more venues will be closed as long as we are able to hold the time it takes the government to figure out how that relief comes to us,” Sternschein said.

NIVA has been fighting for the financing of the Congress for several months. “So we’re going to look very carefully and try to work with the Small Business Administration to try to streamline it and make sure that the right people that Congress intended to get the money got it and that it flows quickly. ” “said Shepherd.

NIVA said it was important for live music fans to keep donating to their favorite places until that money is distributed.

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