Music Industry Giants Urge Congress To Save Independent Live Music And Comedy Venues By Passing The RESTART Act

U.S. Senator Michael Bennet Organizes Day of Action With Independent Concert Venues, Musicians, Entertainment Industry To Build Support For RESTART Act

Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet is organizing a Day of Action in support of the RESTART Act, his bill with U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) — the only bipartisan proposal of its kind — to support the small- and mid-sized businesses most affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The RESTART Act creates a flexible loan program to help businesses stay afloat through the end of the year and into 2021, including independent music venues and the artists and performers who rely on them.

The Day of Action follows momentum for the RESTART Act that has ramped up in recent weeks to save independent music venues and other small- and mid-sized businesses across the country.

  • The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) organized the #SaveOurStages campaign, which has resulted in more than 1 million emails sent to Congress urging passage of the RESTART Act.
  • The Lumineers, Lady Gaga, OutKast, Foo Fighters, Dillon Francis, and many other performing artists urged support of the RESTART Act.
  • The GRAMMY Awards ® officially endorsed the RESTART Act.
  • The National Independent Talent Organization (NITO), representing 2,000 artists, also endorsed the RESTART Act.

“It’s incredible to see support for the RESTART Act from leaders across the entertainment industry, who know that venues, performers, and studio professionals are some of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic,” Bennet said. We must act now, or risk seeing millions of businesses close and millions of performing artists struggle through no fault of their own. Congress needs to step up to support artists by including RESTART in the next COVID-19 relief package.”

In addition to Bennet, the bill is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).

RESTART Trade Association Endorsements: American Gaming Association (AGA); American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA); American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA); American Sportfishing Association (ASA); Broadway League; Coalition for Preserving American Furniture & Fabric Manufacturing; Economic Innovation Group (EIG); Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA); Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC); Home Furnishings Association (HFA); International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA); International Franchise Association (IFA); International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA); International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA); Live Events Coalition; Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA); National Association of Manufacturers (NAM); National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (Nareit); National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO); National Independent Talent Organization (NITO); National Independent Venue Association (NIVA); National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA); National Restaurant Association; Outdoor Amusement Business Association (OABA); Outdoor Industry Association (OIA); PLAY Sports Coalition; Snowsports Industries America (SIA); Sports Events and Tourism Association (Sports ETA); Vail Valley Partnership; American Pyrotechnics Association (APA); Minor League Baseball (MiLB); Sport and Social Industry Association (SSIA)

  A full list of statements of support is available HERE.

The Case for RESTART: Small and Medium-Sized Business Data

Small Business Data

From the Census Small Business Pulse Survey,[1] updated for the week of 6/14 to 6/20: 

  • 83% of small businesses reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a large or moderate negative effect on business.
  • 45% of small businesses reported a decrease in operating revenues/sales/receipts during the second week of June.
  • 11% of small businesses reported a decrease in the number of paid employees during the first week of June.

 Some businesses that have not reduced employees have still reduced employee hours: around 25% of small businesses reported a reduction in total number of hours worked by paid employees during the same timeframe.

  • 75% of small businesses do not have enough cash on hand to cover more than two months of business operations, including financial assistance and loans.
  • 75% of small businesses have requested financial assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) since March 13, 2020.
  • 40% of small businesses believe it will take more than six months for business to return to its normal level of operations relative to 2019.

 Real-time economic data indicates a potential stall in small business recovery:[2]

 As of June 16, total small business revenue decreased by 16.7% relative to January 2020.

 Revenue for businesses in high-income ZIP codes decreased by 23.7% compared to January 2020, while revenue for businesses in low-income ZIP codes decreased by 10.2 %.

  • The number of hours worked at small businesses has decreased by 28% since January 2020.
  • The number of small business locations open is down 22% since January 2020.
  • The number of employees working at small businesses is down 27% since January 2020.

Hardest-Hit Industry Data

Travel and Hospitality[3]

  • 8 in 10 hotel rooms are empty across the United States.
  • The hotel industry is projected to suffer revenue losses of 57.5% in 2020.
  • In April 2020, U.S. hotel operating profits fell by 117% compared to 2019.
  • In mid-June 2020, total rooms sold were half the amount of the total rooms sold last year.[4]
  • With 70% of hotel employees laid off or furloughed, hotel workers are losing over $2.4 billion per week.
  • As of June 16, leisure and hospitality, small business revenue has decreased by 40.6%  since January 2020.[5]

Restaurants[6]

  • Between March and May 2020, restaurant sales fell nearly $27 billion from pre-coronavirus sales in January and February 2020.
  • April 2020 saw $29.3 billion in sales, the lowest sales level since February 1983.
  • Between March and May 2020, total sales were down more than $94 billion from expected levels.
  • As of mid-June, 1 in 5 food and drink locations are closed relative to the beginning of March, and 30% fewer employees are working than were working prior to the pandemic.[7]

Music Venues and Theaters[1]

  • 90% of independent concert venues expect to permanently close down in a few months if shutdowns persist and no federal funding becomes available.
  • Independent venues are forecast to lose almost $9 billion in revenue if the rest of 2020 remains dark.
  • 92% of small businesses in the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation industry reported that the pandemic had a negative effect on their business.
  • As of mid-June, 1 in 3 leisure and entertainment business locations are closed relative to pre-pandemic levels, and 1 in 3 employees in the industry are no longer working.[2]

A PDF of the new data is available HERE.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.