#SaveOurStages: Tennessee music venues ask Congress for financial help amid pandemic

Posted at 6:58 AM, Apr 29, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new group is forming across the country to help independent entertainment venue owners get through the pandemic. Among those asking Congress for help are 23 places in Tennessee.

The new group, dubbed the National Independent Venue Association, is asking Congress to make sure they're included in the Paycheck Protection Program. They're also asking for tax credits for venues that have to follow new health guidelines in order to reopen and an extension on paying taxes.

Owners say they want to stress that public safety is the most important. However, they are just looking for help to keep them afloat during this crisis.

Music venues were among the first to shut down when the pandemic started and will be among the last to reopen – that’s been putting a strain on owners financially. Cannery Ballroom, Exit/In and Bluebird Café, along with many others, have expressed concerns about the impact of COVID-19.

Many owners are concerned that when Mayor Cooper does allow these businesses to reopen, that it will be at 50% capacity and that won’t happen until phase three of his four-phase reopening plan.

Some owners are worried phase three may not happen until next year.