What the $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Means for Musicians

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Washington, D.C.’s The Anthem, March 2020 (Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
Washington, D.C.’s The Anthem, March 2020 (Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

On Wednesday night time, the U.S. Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus invoice in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The laws for the stimulus package deal now strikes to the House of Representatives, the place it’s expected to move in a vote on Friday morning. If authorized, the invoice would then go to the desk of President Trump to be signed into regulation. (The textual content of the invoice is here.)

The plan consists of numerous steps meant to ease the financial fallout from COVID-19, together with direct funds to people, a grace interval for scholar mortgage funds, and billions of {dollars} for hospitals. Just a few of the provisions might be significantly important for songwriters and musicians, and trade teams together with ASCAP and the Recording Industry Association of America have applauded the invoice’s passage. Here’s a breakdown of how the stimulus package deal would possibly assist the music neighborhood by a uniquely difficult time.

Unemployment Benefits

The Senate invoice would add as much as $600 a week to present unemployment advantages. Eligible employees may obtain these advantages for an additional 13 weeks, for a complete of as much as 39 weeks, relying on the state. Crucially, the invoice would increase unemployment advantages to extra folks than are normally eligible for them, together with part-time employees and the self-employed, which may benefit the numerous musicians who function with out conventional employment or depend on hourly jobs to pay the hire.

The invoice would additionally apply to future projects that received’t occur now due to coronavirus, with a provision overlaying employees who have been “scheduled to commence employment” when the outbreak started. That’s excellent news for musicians whose concert events and recording classes have been canceled attributable to COVID-19. RIAA CEO Mitch Glazier stated in a press release, “Access to this expanded unemployment insurance will ensure that hundreds of thousands of musicians’ families across the country can continue to… put food on the table.”

Small Business Loans

The stimulus package deal would supply greater than $370 million in loans to small companies to pay for primary bills, which may apply to document shops, impartial venues, small labels, and different music companies. Business homeowners who keep their workforce in the course of the outbreak would not have to repay loan money used on payroll, mortgages, hire, or utilities. Self-employed small enterprise homeowners, a class that features many musicians, would even be eligible.

The eight weeks of economic support could be retroactive to February 15, which may assist companies rehire employees they’ve been compelled to put off. Bart Herbison, government director of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, stated in a press release, “We cannot overstate the importance of federal relief now being available for the music industry professionals who have already been devastated by the results of the coronavirus.”

Arts and Broadcasting Funding

The invoice additionally units apart cash for arts, humanities, and public broadcasting. Under the Senate laws, the National Endowment for the Arts—which President Trump has tried to cut from funds proposals all through his time period, and which has seen its funding drop beneath a Republican-led Congress—would obtain $75 million. The National Endowment for the Humanities would get one other $75 million. These two federal applications move on their funding by grants to native arts and humanities teams.

The invoice additionally accommodates $75 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help native noncommercial radio and TV stations. It additionally supplies $25 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., which closed earlier this month and isn’t scheduled to reopen till May 10 or later.


 
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