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On September 18, New York Senator Chuck Schumer cooperated with the Broadway League to reestablish the Save Our Stages Act. This $10B bipartisan bill would give government help to the Broadway business shut down for the rest of 2020 because of the progressing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Act would give up to $12 million to qualified live setting administrators, filmmakers, advertisers, or talent representatives. It is to offset a half year of working costs and counterbalance the economic impact of COVID-19. The grants could be utilized for finance costs, lease, home loans, utilities, and personal protective equipment, among different necessities.
According to The Broadway League, Broadway theaters ceased activities and events on March 12 and expected to remain closed until at least January 3, 2021.
“The phantom of COVID has hit Broadway maybe the hardest of all the live venues in America.”New York Senator Chuck Schumer
Since the onset of lockdowns, revenues from the industry “have been, and still are, totally frozen.”
For Schumer, Broadway serves as the “beating heart” of New York City and its economy, with a $15 billion contribution to it last year and providing 100,000 job opportunities.
“Today we are fighting hard to keep stages alive, stories told and shows going on… The Big Apple’s live venues are the lifeblood of New York… our pulse and energy. Every one of them, from the large stages of Broadway to the small venues in Brooklyn, could go under if they don’t get help. Why? Very simple: these venues were the first to close under COVID and will be the last to open.”Senator Chuck Schumer
More people in the industry are in favor of the bill. Thomas Schumacher, Disney Theatrical Group president, and Broadway League Chairman of the Board and Tony winner Laura Benanti showed support through their conference presence. Moreover, the President of Broadway League, Charlotte St. Martin, stood up to speak for Broadway.
“The Broadway League is working to restart the industry, but we simply can’t do it by flipping on a light switch.”Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin
St. Martin furthermore explained that with the assistance of the Save Our Stages Act, subsidizing could accommodate the practices, the renovation of scenes, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.