Recording Academy® Supports Bipartisan Proposal That Would Support Performers, Songwriters, and Studio Professionals
Denver – Today, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) announced the Recording Academy’s (the organization behind the GRAMMY Awards) formal endorsement of their bipartisan Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in Twenty-twenty (RESTART) Act to support the small- and mid-sized businesses most affected by the novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The proposal would also support performers, songwriters, and studio professionals who have been hit hardest by this economic crisis caused by a once-in-a-century pandemic.
The proposal, which the senators introduced in May, responds to the urgent needs of hard-hit restaurants, gyms, hotels, retailers, concert venues, and other businesses and nonprofits by creating a loan program to help keep them afloat through the remainder of 2020 and provide loan forgiveness as a backstop against continuing economic challenges. Last week, Congressmen Jared Golden (D-Maine) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) introduced a companion bill for the RESTART Act in the House. Dozens of national and international trade associations, representing businesses from music venues to restaurants and hospitality to manufacturing companies, have endorsed the proposal, and 10 senators – 5 Republicans and 5 Democrats – have joined Bennet and Young in co-sponsoring the bill.
“We are deeply grateful to the Academy for their support—another sign of increasing momentum for the RESTART Act,” Bennet said. “Performance art is not only essential to our economy, but a treasured part of American culture. When independently-owned music venues, recording studios, bars, restaurants, and theaters shuttered in the face of the pandemic, performers, songwriters, and studio professionals were among the hardest-hit. We must act now, or risk seeing millions of businesses close and millions of performing artists struggle through no fault of their own. Congress needs to step up to support artists by including RESTART in the next COVID-19 relief package.”
“Countless Americans have missed out on the opportunity to see their favorite artists perform due to the pandemic,” said Young. “More importantly, the economic ripple effect of entertainment events and the workers who rely on those shows for a paycheck have been impacted particularly hard. We appreciate the support The Grammy’s have offered for the RESTART Act, and we’re hopeful that it will soon become law.”
“The livelihoods of music creators heavily depend on the survival of recording studios and live music venues,” said Harvey Mason Jr., Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy. “With no certainty in sight as to when concerts will revive and normal operations will resume, these businesses struggle to persevere through the current economy. The RESTART Act provides long-term and flexible financial assistance that is more aligned with the reality of those within the music industry. The Recording Academy thanks Senators Bennet and Young for their leadership and support.”
In addition to Bennet, the bill is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).
RESTART Trade Association Endorsements: American Gaming Association (AGA); American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA); American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA); American Sportfishing Association (ASA); Broadway League; Coalition for Preserving American Furniture & Fabric Manufacturing; Economic Innovation Group (EIG); Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA); Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC); Home Furnishings Association (HFA); International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA); International Franchise Association (IFA); International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA); International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA); Live Events Coalition; Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA); National Association of Manufacturers (NAM); National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (Nareit); National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO); National Independent Talent Organization (NITO); National Independent Venue Association (NIVA); National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA); National Restaurant Association; Outdoor Amusement Business Association (OABA); Outdoor Industry Association (OIA); PLAY Sports Coalition; Snowsports Industries America (SIA); Sports Events and Tourism Association (Sports ETA); Vail Valley Partnership
A full list of statements of support is available HERE.
Throughout this pandemic, data has demonstrated how small businesses are bearing the economic brunt of COVID-19 with no sign of relief. With a still-declining economy, high unemployment, and rapidly increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, it is imperative that small- and mid-sized businesses have the flexibility to spend PPP money in the most effective manners for their businesses. The RESTART Act provides businesses with the support and flexibility they need to face this economic downturn before it’s too late.
The Case for RESTART: Small and Medium-Sized Business Data
Small Business Data
From the Census Small Business Pulse Survey, updated for the week of 6/14 to 6/20:
- 83% of small businesses reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a large or moderate negative effect on business.
- 45% of small businesses reported a decrease in operating revenues/sales/receipts during the second week of June.
- 11% of small businesses reported a decrease in the number of paid employees during the first week of June.
- Some businesses that have not reduced employees have still reduced employee hours: around 25% of small businesses reported a reduction in total number of hours worked by paid employees during the same timeframe.
- 75% of small businesses do not have enough cash on hand to cover more than two months of business operations, including financial assistance and loans.
- 75% of small businesses have requested financial assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) since March 13, 2020.
- 40% of small businesses believe it will take more than six months for business to return to its normal level of operations relative to 2019.
Real time economic data indicates a potential stall in small business recovery:
- As of June 16, total small business revenue decreased by 16.7% relative to January 2020.
- Revenue for businesses in high-income ZIP codes decreased by 23.7% compared to January 2020, while revenue for businesses in low-income ZIP codes decreased by 10.2 %.
- The number of hours worked at small businesses has decreased by 28% since January 2020.
- The number of small business locations open is down 22% since January 2020.
- The number of employees working at small businesses is down 27% since January 2020.
Hardest-Hit Industry Data
Music Venues and Theaters
- 90% of independent concert venues expect to permanently close down in a few months if shutdowns persist and no federal funding becomes available.
- Independent venues are forecast to lose almost $9 billion in revenue if the rest of 2020 remains dark.
- 92% of small businesses in the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation industry reported that the pandemic had a negative effect on their business.
- As of mid-June, 1 in 3 leisure and entertainment business locations are closed relative to pre-pandemic levels, and 1 in 3 employees in the industry are no longer working.
Travel and Hospitality
- 8 in 10 hotel rooms are empty across the United States.
- The hotel industry is projected to suffer revenue losses of 57.5% in 2020.
- In April 2020, U.S. hotel operating profits fell by 117% compared to 2019.
- In mid-June 2020, total rooms sold were half the amount of the total rooms sold last year.
- With 70% of hotel employees laid off or furloughed, hotel workers are losing over $2.4 billion per week.
- As of June 16, leisure and hospitality small business revenue has decreased by 40.6% since January 2020.
- Between March and May 2020, restaurant sales fell nearly $27 billion from pre-coronavirus sales in January and February 2020.
- April 2020 saw $29.3 billion in sales, the lowest sales level since February 1983.
- Between March and May 2020, total sales were down more than $94 billion from expected levels.
- As of mid-June, 1 in 5 food and drink locations are closed relative to the beginning of March, and 30% fewer employees are working than were working prior to the pandemic.
A PDF of the new data is available HERE.