The U.S. government finally reached agreement to deliver a $900 billion coronavirus relief plan across the U.S., including $15 billion for live-entertainment venues along with personal payments for citizens.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed the figure included consideration for “SPA grants for theater operators and small-venue operators through the Save Our Stages Act,” adding: “These venues are so important to my state and so many other states across the country. They are the lifeblood of our communities. They were the first to close and will be the last to open. This bill gives them a fighting chance.”

While pandemic restrictions has already seen the permanent closure of a number of entertainment establishments, National Independent Venues Association President Dayna Frank called the package a “crucial lifeline." “We’re also incredibly grateful that this bill provides Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which will help the millions of people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own during this economic crisis," she said. "We urge swift passage of this legislation, which will assist those in the greatest need and ensure the music lives on for generations to come.”

Independent entertainment outlets – often cited to be the first businesses to close in the pandemic and the last to reopen when it ends – were the subject of the Save Our Venues Act, which took form in July. That legislation was rolled into the relief plan. To date, more than 18 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S., with more than 324,000 deaths. The global figures stand at 77.3 million cases and 1.7 million deaths.

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