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Live music venues—especially small, independent ones—are some of the hardest hit businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. A new bill in Congress could help establish a $10 billion Small Business Administration grant to aid our small music venues.
Once it became clear that we would not be seeing concerts any time soon, the National Independent Venue Association launched the #SaveOurStages movement, aiming to get Congressional attention. NIVA’s Save Our Stages campaign discovered that, without relief, 90% of the independent music venues across the United States are in danger of closing. Over 600 artists—including Lady Gaga, Dave Grohl, Billie Eilish Neil Young, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson and Coldplay—signed a letter encouraging legislators to financially support small music venues.
On Wednesday, July 22, Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar and Republican Senator John Cornyn introduced their co-authored Save Our Stages Act. If passed, the Save Our Stages Act would offer six months of financial support for small venues. This support would help them pay rent, mortgages, taxes, operation costs and employees. The $10 billion program would offer each eligible small venue either 45% of operation costs from 2019 or $12 million, whichever is lesser.
Which Birmingham music venues would be affected?
If passed, the Save Our Stages Act could help Birmingham’s music venues stay afloat. Independent venues, such as Iron City, the Alabama + Lyric Theatres, Zydeco, WorkPlay and more would all be eligible.
However, the bill narrowly defines which venues are eligible, in order to prevent large, international corporations from receiving federal grant funding. Learn more about the qualifications.
Do Your Part to Save Birmingham’s Stages
Since time is of the essence, proponents of the Save Our Stages Act want Congress to vote on the Bill before they go away for their August recess. In the meantime, there are several ways you can help preserve Birmingham’s music venues:
- Iron City Bham: Pre-Order Exclusive T-Shirt | Pre-Purchase Tickets | GoFundMe | Purchase Instagift Card | Learn More
- Alabama + Lyric Theatre: Donate Online | Learn More