Small sites still at risk because COVID species do not arrive

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A representative of the organization formed to save small theaters amid the coronavirus pandemic said “not a single penny” of government support had reached struggling business owners until last month. Most were still waiting for the emergency funds they had already been promised.

Save Our Stages legislation was passed in December, guaranteeing $ 15 billion to help keep local businesses operating during a time when they couldn’t operate. But in a new interview with NME, Audrey Fix Schaefer of the National Independent Venue Association said very little money has gotten where it’s needed. As a result, she claimed, 90 percent of small theaters in the United States remained struggling.

“We are all without any income since March 2020,” Schaefer said. “The bills keep piling up, eviction notices are coming faster, people are feeling incredibly stressed and demoralized. … We can’t reopen until we have this money. We can’t get our employees back or put deposits on the tapes. There are places that are not allowed to reopen because their owners will not allow them until they have paid their retroactive rent – which is fair. It is the survival of businesses as difficult in 2021 as it was in 2020. “

She added that “right now, independent sites are starting from a difficult position because they don’t have the resources of shareholder money or massive Wall Street lines of credit.… They’ve spent all their money. So many of them have taken out a second mortgage on their home, depleted their retirement funds, or taken money from their children’s college funds. They are doing all they can to hold out, but they didn’t think they would have to go through those hoops because the money was promised five months ago.

The Small Business Administration shut down its request mechanism five hours after its launch, citing technical difficulties. It reopened three weeks later and more than 11,000 companies filed applications – but Schaefer said “not a single penny has been released” until May and most applicants are still waiting.

“It’s not just the site that is affected by the closure, it’s everything around us,” she explained. A Chicago study showed that for every dollar spent at a site, there was $ 12 in activity at neighboring sites. Music is a big part of tourism. If a venue breaks down, there will be an effect. domino. “

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