Congress Announces Second Stimulus Package, Dedicates $15 Billion to Venues
On Sunday night (Dec. 20), it was announced that the United States Congress had finally struck a deal for a second COVID-19 relief package. Of the $900 billion in stimulus money, $15 billion has been set aside for live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions.
Earlier this year, acts like Foo Fighters, Miley Cyrus, Rise Against and more teamed up to perform at the Save Our Stages Festival, which raised nearly $2 million for independent music venues. Across the pond, $2 billion was given to the United Kingdom’s live entertainment industry back in July, while $5.6 billion and $1.13 billion was committed by France and Germany, respectively.
"We're thrilled that Congress has heard the call of shuttered independent venues across the country and provided us a crucial lifeline by including the Save Our Stages Act in the COVID-19 Relief Bill," Dayna Frank, president of the National Independent Venue Association, said in a statement.
"We're also incredibly grateful that this bill provides Pandemic Unemployment Assistance which will help the millions of people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during this economic crisis. We urge swift passage of this legislation, which will assist those in the greatest need and ensure the music lives on for generations to come." [via Blabbermouth]
The Save Our Stages Act was introduced by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX) with the goal of providing six months of financial support for venues.
Along with $15 billion noted above, the second stimulus package will see Americans under a certain yearly income level receive a $600 direct payment, plus an additional $600 per dependent child. Unemployed Americans will also receive $300 a week for a total of 11 weeks, from the end of December to mid-March.
Additionally, the package will dedicate $82 billion to K-12 schools and colleges, $48 billion to COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution, $25 billion in rental assistance, $12 billion for minority-owned and very small businesses, $10 billion to child care providers, and more. Congress is expected to pass the bill today (Dec. 21).