A portion of a recently passed federal COVID-19 relief bill is earmarked to help the live music industry, which has been devastated during the pandemic. And that's thanks in part to a local effort.

The $15 billion relief package is called the Save Our Stages Act. It's designed to deliver grants to businesses like theatres, cinemas, and independent music venues.

As the bill is written, some of the most vulnerable of these businesses will be able to apply first, meaning those that have lost more than 90 percent of their revenue. There's also $2 billion set aside specifically for venues with less than 50 employees.

Richard Emmett is co-owner of The Ramkat in Winston-Salem. He was among a group of music venue operators leading the charge to push the legislation through and onto the desks of state representatives.

“Just constantly reaching out to our senators here; Senator Burr, and Senator Tillis and his team signed on from the beginning,” Emmett says. “And in the end, Senator Burr was very supportive, and so they both were instrumental.”

The application process is just starting, so it could take weeks or months for grant dollars to roll in. In the meantime, the National Independent Venue Association has an emergency relief fund for those in the greatest danger of permanently closing. 

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you're experiencing.

300x250 Ad

300x250 Ad

Support quality journalism, like the story above, with your gift right now.