Austin City Council to vote on $1.6M for live music venue pandemic funding

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin City Council members will vote Thursday to finish handing out money to entertainment venues impacted by the pandemic. They are voting on it because the SAVES Act money ran out and a lot of places in Austin didn’t get their share.

The amendment council members will discuss is worth more than $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury American Rescue Plan. Those at the city’s Economic Development Department say that’ll be enough to finish off the list. However, recovering from the pandemic is a problem that’s going to stick around.

“Those bills don’t go away so this is an effort to get people caught up to get their businesses back in shape and take care of those safety precautions that are going to be required, additional staff and so it’s a lot,” said Erica Shamaly, the division manager at the Music & Entertainment Economic Development Department.

The federal government handed out $16 billion to venues across the country in April.

Music Venue Alliance Texas reports 800 venues had fewer than 10 employees before the pandemic began in March 2020 – and it projects between 30% and 40% of those businesses will stay closed.

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