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From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: The delayed Save Our Stages Act has taken a step forward


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Image: Photo by Jim Leatherman for Orlando Weekly The Tremolords at Will's Pub, orlandoweekly.com

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After weeks of delays, a proposed federal bailout for independent music venues has taken a step forward.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday amended the Heroes Act, a broad pandemic relief bill, to include provisions from the bipartisan Save Our Stages Act.

If passed, the new package would include $10 billion in emergency grants for independent venues and promoters, most of which have been without income during the COVID-19 crisis.

Audrey Fix Schaefer, the communications director for the National Independent Venue Association, says, “Our small, independent businesses, which normally contribute billions of dollars to local economies, are on the precipice of mass collapse if this critical funding doesn’t come through.”

Under the proposal, venues could apply for federal dollars to cover rent, mortgages and utilities and other expenses that have continued to mount during the pandemic. High-profile venues across the country have already closed amid the shutdown.

Fix Schaefer said she was “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects of the bill moving forward, adding that every $1 spent on a concert ticket at an independent venue equates to $12 for area restaurants, bars and hotels.


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