Schumer visits Ithaca to promote “Save Our Stages,” American Rescue Plan

Political News

ITHACA, N.Y. (WETM) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer visited Ithaca on Monday saying “help is on the way to the Southern Tier” in the recently enacted American Rescue Plan.

Schumer spoke outside of Cinemapolis and promoted the “Save Our Stages” provision that includes “an additional $1.25 billion for independent live venues, performing arts organizations, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions and included a critical fix that allows venues to access a PPP loan and a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, deducting the PPP loan amount from the grant amount.”

The $15 billion Save Our Stages program will open to applications on April 8, and venues will be allowed to apply for a Paycheck Protection Plan loan in addition to a Save Our Stages grant.

“Independent venues, like theaters, concert halls, and cinemas, are the beating heart of New York’s cultural life and a driving force in the Upstate economy. These local businesses were among the first to shut down at the start of the pandemic, are struggling to stay afloat, and will be among the last to fully reopen, costing jobs and leaving a giant hole in the fabric of our communities,” said Senator Schumer. “That is why I made sure this relief bill included a swan song – additional reliefs dollars to boost the Save Our Stages legislation and a critical technical fix to allow venues to access PPP and flexible grant support. Getting federal dollars into the hands of struggling small businesses, like independent venues in the Southern Tier, not only makes sense, but it’s the curtain call needed to keep small businesses like Cinemapolis and the Hangar Theatre going and keeping their workers on the job.”

The program, which will be overseen by the Small Business Administration, provides assistance to independent live venue operators, promoters, producers, talent representatives, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions. Grant amounts equal to 45 percent of gross revenue in 2019 for the venue, up to $10 million, can be used for various costs, including payroll, rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases, PPE procurement, and capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines. To ensure the hardest hit of eligible applicants receive assistance, there are two priority application periods. The first 14 days, only eligible entities that have lost more than 90% of gross revenue can apply. The next 14 days, only eligible entities that have lost more than 70% can apply. A reserve of 20% of overall appropriated funds, $3 billion out of the $15 billion provided, will remain available for all other eligible entities to apply for after 28 days. There is a $2 billion set-aside of funds for eligible entities with 50 or fewer employees to ensure smaller applicants are not left out.

Additionally, Schumer detailed the American Rescue Plan’s tentative impact for New York with more than $100 Billion dollars and direct funding to communities and families in the Southern Tier

“As Majority Leader, I fought hard to ensure this deal sent real relief to the tune of $100 billion to New York for workers, families, farmers, healthcare, small businesses, including our hard-hit industries like restaurants, and communities in Ithaca—the things we need to support in order to weather this crisis and then work to recover,” added Schumer added. “This marks the second biggest stimulus bill in the nation’s history—second to the CARES Act—and it comes just in time, because Southern Tier residents still need real help to get through this.”

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