Today, Donald Trump is expected to sign the $900 billion stimulus bill into law, and this is fantastic news for music venues across the country: The bill actually includes the Save Our Stages Act, which was introduced by Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota this summer. On Monday, Speaker Of The House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a statement noting the bill includes “$15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.” $10 billion of that will go to live music venues and promoters.
Klobuchar spoke about bill with Rolling Stone and said that she is pleased with how it turned out, saying, “One of the things that will go down when people look back at how we saved the music and wouldn’t let it die, was that this was such a bipartisan effort and it was reflected in the fan base because it went from country music to rap to classical. And it really did bring out the best in America in terms of what I consider one of the icons of our country culturally, but also one of our best economic drivers. And so it was that combination that we always knew existed in our country, but always gets pigeonholed into one area or another, and we were able to combine it.”
She also spoke about why she thinks Save Our Stages had such bipartisan support, saying:
“I think that through the horror of this pandemic and all the tears and tragedy, people embraced music and culture more and more. But they were just alone doing it on their computers and their phones, and they want it back. They want that sense of community. So I think there was not only an obvious economic turn; no one can dispute it. Everyone knows their hometown theaters are closed down.
Secondly, the emotional value of it you cannot take away. And the fact that people like different kinds of music, but they’re united in liking music. So we were able to get on that. Senator Cornyn and I have led a number of bills successfully — on totally different topics — and I think that helps. We were on the same page the whole time … The Save Our Stages group was really smart about never giving up. There was a certain hope to it. And we had a lot of out-of-work musicians and a lot of creative people, so they were very creative about how they approach this. And it never got mean. It was all done in a very positive way from the beginning.”
Klobuchar also explained how venue owners can secure funding, saying, “So what you do is apply to the Small Business Administration and explain what your revenues were in 2019. And you have certain criteria of which you can apply. So we kind of know what our universe is here. They have to have how many seats, the lighting, etc. You’d apply in a very straightforward way and then the money goes out after that once it’s granted by the Small Business Administration.”
Read the full Rolling Stone interview here.