Since we last posted, membership to NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association, has swelled to nearly 2000 independent venues and promoters. The organization has the goal of securing financial aid to help venues and promoters survive the coronavirus pandemic. They've already weathered months of shutdown with no end in site, as music venues will be among the last locations allowed to reopen in most places, and some experts suggest that it could be a year or more before concerts as we remember them are able to resume. In a new survey of its members, NIVA found that over 90% of them will have no choice but to close their doors if the shutdown continues, or if they don't receive financial assistance.

"The complete and instant shut down of every venue is devastating," Dayna Frank, CEO of Minneapolis' First Avenue Productions, and NIVA President and CEO, writes. "Revenues have ceased, but overhead hasn't. We’re fighting for the future of our industry, our beloved venues and our communities. This is the one time we're asking for assistance to do that. Without it, we fail. With it, we can once again be the gathering places that bring back our communities. With it, we will stand on our own feet and once again generate economic gains for businesses around us and the tax base of our towns and cities."

NIVA have shared a new fact sheet detailing some of the policy changes they support, including the RESTART Act:

NIVA supports the RESTART Act (S. 3814) led by Senators Young and Bennet, and other like-minded proposals that tailor the PPP program to work for shuttered businesses like ours that have zero revenue, high overhead and no clear timeline for reopening. The RESTART Act:
●Finances the equivalent of six months’ worth of payroll, benefits, and fixed operating costs.
●Allows for flexible use of loan proceeds and loan forgiveness with no minimums on the percentage dedicated to any one expense.
●Expands eligibility to ensure access for small businesses that have many part-time employees.
●Allows up to 90% loan forgiveness for businesses with fewer than 500​ ​FTEs ​and high revenue loss.
●Implements a generous 7-year payback schedule, wherein principal payments are not required for 2 years and interest payments aren’t due for the first 12 months.

You can support NIVA by visiting saveourstages.com, which gives you the option to quickly fill out a form contacting your legislators about the need to provide aid to venues.

Individual NYC venues are also raising money to survive the pandemic.