HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Part of the $900 billion stimulus agreement reached by Congress will go to help independent entertainment venues. $15 billion dollars has been allocated with the successful passing of the Save Our Stages Act.
Entertainment venues were some of the first businesses to close when the pandemic hit and they’re predicted to be the last ones to open.
“As you know, the industry came to a standstill. Since then, I know its been over 250 events that we’ve had postponed, cancelled and that’s not just concerts, that’s weddings, conferences, meetings. So it’s been devastating not just to us but to the industry as a whole,” says VBC marketing and public relations manager Samantha Nielsen.
The Save Our Stages Act allocated $15 billion dollars to help entertainment venues.
“Any relief, financial relief or aid or whatever you want to call it is huge. Whatever amount is going to be huge to our industry,” says Nielsen.
For a business to qualify, it must be independent and must have lost at least 25% of its annual revenue. Right now the Von Braun Center and Mars Music Hall are unsure if they qualify since they are an agency of the City of Huntsville.
“We are working with the city right now and our CPA looking into it and we are pursuing to see what we qualify for,” says Nielsen.
But for now, the VBC is operating at limited capacity and holding scaled back events, to try to stay afloat.
“Just trying to do everything we can to create an environment that’s safe and that people feel comfortable coming in and enjoying events,” says Nielsen.
$10 billion of the $15 billion will go to entertainment venues like theatres and concert venues. The other approximately $5 billion will go toward museums, zoos and other similar venues.