The ‘Heroes Act’ Passes in the House of Representatives

The ‘Heroes Act’ passes in the House of Representatives on October 1, 2020 including the Save Our Stages revisions which were added on September 28, 2020. The $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus aid package will include $10 Billion set aside for independent music and live-entertainment venues.

The relief bill passed in the largely Democratically – controlled House of Representatives with votes 214 to 207. The votes were split largely along party lines. Unfortunately the bill still needs to be passed in the Senate which is notoriously slow in passing bills and is largely controlled by Republicans. 

Heroes Act Passes
The State Theater of Ithaca lit up in red during the “Red Alert” demonstration in support of Save Our Stages.

The addition to the ‘Heroes Act‘ including Save Our Stages revisions will make a huge impact on the live entertainment industry that’s suffering horribly due to the coronavirus Pandemic. According to the Variety article, “A poll taken by the 2,600-member National Independent Venues Association, some 90% of its members said they will be forced to close permanently without federal assistance.”

According to section 619 of the ‘Heroes Act,’ “Grants for Independent Live Venue Operators (H.R. 7806, Save our Stages Act or the SOS Act) 37 1. Authorizes $10 Billion for the SBA to make grants to eligible live venue operators, producers, promoters, or talent representatives to address the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on certain live venues. 2. The SBA may make an initial grant of up to $12 million dollars to an eligible operator, promoter, producer, or talent representative; and a supplemental grant that is equal to 50% of the initial grant. 3. Such grants shall be used for specified expenses such as payroll costs, rent, utilities, and personal protective equipment.” Basically this is saying that independent venues, producers, promoters and talent representatives can use the funds to cover things like rent, mortgages, utilities, insurance and other expenses that these businesses are in during the ongoing pandemic. 

One factor that may hold up the passage of the ‘Heroes Act’ relates to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 among Senators and the President. Three Senators – Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) – all tested positive and are quarantining. Thus, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has postponed all floor activity until October 19, thus prolonging the time it will take to debate and vote on the ‘Heroes Act’ by two weeks.

For more information on the ‘Heroes Act’ read the one page summary here.

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