Entertainment venues seek assistance as closures continue

Entertainment venues seek assistance as closures continue

Inside Propaganda bar in downtown Lake Worth, it's not business as usual.

"Without our community, we'd already be closed," said owner Matt Krug.

He has owned the live music and entertainment venue for eight years.

"I like to say that every night might not be for everyone, but we have a night for everyone," Krug said.

But for the last four months, his venue has set empty.

The COVID-19 pandemic is one act this industry wasn't prepared to handle.

"Anybody in the entertainment industry is hurting and the aid packages out there right now really don't fit our businesses," Krug said.

Now, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) is pushing back.

The group says the Paycheck Protection Program loan makes forgiveness unattainable for venue operators who depend on large crowds.

"What we need is help with the overhead right now, so that one day we can come back, welcome our employees back and then fans and musicians too," said Audrey Fix Schaefer, the communications director of NIVA.

She said there are two bipartisan bills in Congress they think could help.

The bills are the Save Our Stages Act and the RESTART Act, which both offer grant and loan options for venues and people who have a lot of part-time employees.

However, Schaefer said their organization is concerned about Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's Small Business Relief Package.

"It's just a Band-Aid for kind of micro-businesses, meaning that it's only going to be two months, we're probably not going to be open in two months," Schaefer said.

WPTV reached out to Rubio about NIVA's concerns, and a spokesperson said:

"Sen. Rubio believes additional federal relief is necessary to avoid structural, deep damage to our economy. He will continue to work with his congressional colleagues to find a bipartisan compromise that can become law."

Krug is just hoping his business can hold on a little longer.

"From a small business owner in Florida who voted for Sen. Marco Rubio into his position, Sen. Rubio now is your chance to back up the things you said that put you into office. We need your help," Krug said.

Scripps Only Content 2020