Help Save Pennsylvania's Independent Venues Affected by COVID-19
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Did you know that PA's independent venues contribute to over $6 billion in direct economic activity?
But COVID-19 has CRUSHED Pennsylvania's independent music venues, theaters, promoters, festivals and we are on the verge of losing this critical sector of the creative economy and the heartbeats of our towns. Our missions are to bring people together to celebrate music, art, and entertainment collectively and we NEED to be able to preserve these historical establishments across the state from permanent closure.
We are asking Governor Tom Wolf to save the independent live entertainment industry which has been among the hardest-hit, by supporting the PA Save Our Stages Act (HB 2894), which calls on part of the remaining CARES Funding already allocated to the state of Pennsylvania to be used to help these venues, promoters, and entrepreneurs survive.
We urge you to join the other states and cities that have supported their constituent owners of independent venues, promoters, festivals, artists and other critically impacted aspects of the arts & entertainment sector. States that have already funded their arts & entertainment economies include:
- Oregon - $10 million allocated to independent venues
- Montana - $10 million allocated to independent venues
- Illinois - $60 million allocated to “heavily distressed industries”, including venues
- Kansas - $2 million allocated to venues
- Vermont - Up to $50,000 available per venue
- Nashville, TN - $2.5 million allocated to venues
- New Hampshire - $12 million allocated to venues
- Wisconsin - $15 million allocated to venues
- Other city support includes Portland, Indianapolis, Memphis, Sacramento, Denver, and more.
The creative economy takes years to develop, and we cannot let Pennsylvania get set back during this critical time of recovery.
We applaud the effort of State Representative Jake Wheatley, who has introduced HB2894, and all representatives who take this issue as a priority by co-sponsoring the bill.
We are advocating for the following:
- PROVIDE LONG-TERM ASSISTANCE FOR SHUTTERED BUSINESS
- CONTINUANCE OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS AND PUA EXTENSION
We need your support NOW to help #SavePAVenues. The National Independent Venue Association has stated that 90% of their membership cannot last 6 months or longer with targeted aid. We are now on the brink of a mass collapse of the entire industry.
It will take just 20 seconds of your day and you just might help SAVE your town's independent venues – sign the petition today!
So why do independent venues need specific support?
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as of July 2020, has stated that almost 90% of businesses are either fully or partially opened. Entertainment venues almost all fall in that 10% that are unable to safely re-open. We rely on guests being in close proximity, which makes are sustainable return likely dependent on a vaccine.
Our unique position does not allow businesses to operate at a reduced capacity. Venue operators have virtually no revenue, and ALL of the fixed expenditures like rent/mortgage, insurance, liability. Expenses DO NOT work on a sliding scale based on capacity.
Additionally, due to the nature of routed tours, many venues depend on this national artistry base to be able to generate revenue. Without artists ability to tour, Pennsylvania venues are unable to produce any economically feasible events.
Economic Impact: Pennsylvania’s Performance Venues are absolutely essential to the Commonwealth’s long-term recovery. They are economic anchors in their business districts and cultural hubs in their communities. The economic activity revolving PA’s entertainment venues are approximately $6.8 billion. A recent study estimates that for every $1 spent on a concert ticket, $12 is spent within its local economy, through bars, restaurants, parking, hotels, and retail shopping.
Additionally, thousands of skilled and trusted employees, gig workers, and independent contractors that are all critical to live events are almost entirely out of work with no income. Many of these staff rely on the entertainment industry to help pay the bills. There thousands of voting citizens within Pennsylvania that need your help now to save their livelihoods, and to make sure they continue to thrive and contribute massively to the overall economy and tourism in Pennsylvania once this is behind us
Governor Wolf supported federal funding for independent venues, and we need that same level of support within the Commonwealth now to #SavePAVenues.
View our letter to Governor Tom Wolf here.
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