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COVID-19 Relief Bill Includes $15B For Independent Theaters, Music Venues

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Marking a big win for Hollywood and the entertainment industry as a whole, the massive $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress Monday included $15 billion for movie theaters and live music venues.

club Los Angeles
The marquee of a closed night club reads "We Miss you", amid the coronavirus pandemic, December 4, 2020, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Save our Stages Act will provide federal money to independent movie theaters, independent music venues and comedy clubs, among others.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who co-sponsored it, told Variety Monday that the bill will include about $10 billion for music venues and $5 billion for other types of venues.

According to Klobuchar, these venues will be able to apply for grants through the Small Business Administration. Those who suffered revenue losses of 90% or more over the past year will be able to apply first, followed by those who suffered losses of 70% or more.

The relief bill also included a few items which were applauded by the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, including an extra $100 a week in unemployment for those with "nontraditional" jobs, such as actors and gig workers.

"The most immediate benefits are the restarting of the pandemic unemployment assistance benefits, $300 a week through March 14, for all eligible Americans," Pamela Greenwalt , a spokesperson for SAG-AFTRA, said in a statement. "For those with nontraditional employment, like many SAG-AFTRA members, participating states will make an additional $100 available. SAG-AFTRA led the charge on this benefit for mixed-earners. Coupled with the $600 stimulus check, the funds can make a big difference for those out of work or struggling to get by."

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) described to CBSLA Monday night who will be eligible for the extra $100.

"I was also able to get a provision I worked very hard on for mixed-income earners, an additional $100 a week, so those that have a mixture of W-2 income and independent contractor income don't get left out, or get much less than they deserve," Schiff told CBSLA.

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