August 14, 2020

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Relief Bill for Independent Live Music Venues During Pandemic

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) Save Our Stages Act, which would provide Small Business Administration grants for independent live music venue operators affected by COVID-19. These grants would provide six months of financial support to keep venues afloat, pay employees, and preserve a critical economic sector for communities across America.

“Nevada is home to some of the best live music and entertainment venues in the country, and it is vital to both our economy and the soul of our cities that we help them weather this pandemic. I’m proud to cosponsor legislation that would help these venues keep their doors open, pay their workers and plan for the safe return of customers.”                                       


Small live music and entertainment venues in Nevada and across the country have been hard-hit during the coronavirus pandemic, with 90 percent of venue owners, promoters, and bookers reporting they are at risk of closing without additional financial assistance and an estimated $9 billion in losses should ticket sales not resume until 2021. The Save Our Stages Act would:

  • Narrowly define independent live venue operators, promoters, and talent representatives to prevent large, international corporations from receiving federal grant funding
  • Direct the SBA to make grants to eligible venues equal to the lesser of either 45 percent of operation costs from calendar year 2019 or $12 million
  • Allow the Small Business Administrator to issue supplemental grants in the future if funding remains available and applicants can demonstrate need
  • Permit recipients to use grants for costs incurred during the COVID pandemic
  • Require recipients to return remaining funding after one year from the date of disbursement
  • Permit recipients to use grants for rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, PPE procurement, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases, and capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines
  • Authorize the appropriation of $10 billion for the grant program

The Save Our Stages Act is endorsed by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO). 

Senator Cortez Masto also recently introduced the bipartisan STEP Act, legislation to provide economic support for organizations involved in promoting and hosting tourism, travel, or other special events. This legislation is intended to aid local economies by strengthening small businesses and live event companies who employ thousands of Nevadans.