The Live Events Coalition is requesting additional federal assistance to rejuvenate the hard-hit industry. In a new update to a change.org petition, the coalition is asking the government to provide an additional $800 billion in emergency funding along with health insurance for workers who have lost coverage through layoffs or furloughs.
This new request comes weeks after Congress passed The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion stimulus package to revive business within the country. Highlights of the bill include payouts of $1,200 to Americans earning under $75,000 annually and over $300 billion to aid small businesses through forgivable loans. However, the Live Events Coalition is urging lawmakers to provide more assistance to their especially downtrodden industry.
“While small businesses and event workers will benefit to some degree from the stimulus packages approved thus far, the live events industry as a whole is in a dire situation,” organizers wrote on their petition. “With expected industry revenue loss between 60% to 80%, many businesses are facing permanent closure and we’ve furloughed on average 85% of our workforce. Across the Live Events industry, we are coming to terms with the fact that revenues generated by events will likely not begin to flow until August or September of this year. Live events is the second largest industry in total for the US economy and the fastest growing industry prior to this pandemic, with yearly increases above 5% GDP.”
The requested $800 billion the coalition is asking for would go towards four initiatives. First, the petition details family stabilization that would see all event workers paid 90% of their expected annual income through subsidies and other benefits. Employee health insurance and business insurance coverage are detailed, along with a request for the live events industry to be included in the North American Industry Classification System.
To date, the petition has logged more than 450,000 of 500,000 signatures.
With concerts, theater and sporting events on hold for the foreseeable future, all involved industries are faced with significant losses. Amid widespread festival and tour cancellations, the concert industry alone could log up to $9 billion in lost revenue this year.