Over the past four months, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the music and events industry. According to a new survey conducted by the National Independent Venue Association, the damage isn’t done just yet.
NIVA surveyed its 2,000 members in all 50 states. If the lockdown lasts six months or longer, 90 percent of NIVA members say they will have to close permanently without federal support.
A group of 150 Congressmen recently sent letters to Senate and House leaders supporting NIVA.
“Live event venues were among the first to close as COVID-19 spread across the country,” the letter reads. “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.”
The organization–formed due to the pandemic–is pushing for Congress to adjust the Paycheck Protection Program. The suggested changes would cater to independent concert venues. Particularly, the NIVA is asking for six months’ worth of contributions from the federal government. The packages would include payroll, benefits, rent/mortgage, utilities, taxes, and insurance.
The letter from NIVA to Congress outlines tax relief plans for venues. Additionally, the group is asking to expand eligibility for venues to retain employees. NIVA is asking to defer federal taxes for shuttered businesses until at least six months after normal industry operations continue.
On Tuesday, Chicago’s Lollapalooza festival announced its cancellation of this year’s festival. The festival joined major names like Coachella and Bonnaroo.
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