NYIVA, also known as the New York Independent Venue Association, released data on the dire state of independent live venues throughout New York due to COVID-19. The information was released on October 25, 2020 and includes how many respondents, the amount of months before business will be forced to close permanently, the monthly relief needed, and the amount of debt accrued by them already.
The information is based on responses from NYIVA’s members comprising a majority of the music and comedy venues within the state. Currently, independent venues across New York State have accrued and estimated $105 million in debt at a rate of $15 million per month. Of the 68 respondents (representing approximately 1/3 of the industry), more than half have stated they will close for good within the next 90 days, even with the state’s eviction moratorium in place due to the pandemic.
Three of the 68 respondents say they will be forced to close in less than a month. One says they will be forced to close in a month. 18 say they will be forced to close within two months. 15 will be forced to close within three months. Six will be forced to close within four months. The respondents would need $5,155,015 monthly to stay afloat. They are currently in $20,073,835 of debt due to the pandemic.
NYIVA’s co-chair Jen Lyon explains the difficulties businesses will having trying to come back with the amount of debt they have accrued saying, “Paying this back, even without interest, will eat into most if not all of our members’ businesses profits for the next five years — and that’s if they aren’t forced by the weight of their debt to fold before that. New York stands on the precipice of losing the critical cultural and economic institutions that make up our vibrant live performance communities as well as significant tourism revenue for the state. This is not sustainable. We need help now.”
New York state has received $5 billion in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) from March 30 till now. Currently New York independent venues are looking for a mere 1.5% ($75 million) of the state CRF allocation to save New York’s music and comedy clubs in order to stay afloat until a national aid package is passed. Independent venues haven’t received nearly as much aid as they need to stay afloat. Hopefully the CARES act with the addition of Save Our Stages will be passed soon and help protect independent venues from shutting down.
For more information on the survey details visit NYIVA’s website.