NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Stories and information in our region on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local Senators Urge Inclusion Of Entertainment Venues In Coronavirus Relief

Staib / Wikimedia Commons Image

Senate Democrats want to urge their Republican colleagues to include money for entertainment venues and theaters in the next round of federal coronavirus relief.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said proposed legislation would provide up to $12 million in loans and grants for venues and theatres that have remained closed amid the pandemic.

Blumenthal said the entertainment sector is vital to Connecticut’s economy.

“We love the culture, we live for entertainment. The music, the artistry but we also love the jobs and the economic vitality that these stages bring,” Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal said the entertainment sector also needs money to make changes that are needed to reopen safely and purchase protective equipment amid the pandemic.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said many of these venues were among the first to close when New York became the epicenter for the virus in April — and most have not reopened since.

“We cannot let COVID shut down all of these places. But if we do nothing, that’s what will happen. We must ensure they survive and thrive after we defeat this horrible virus,” Schumer said.

Democrats have proposed legislation that would provide theatres and venues a six-month loan of up to $12 million to help them manage to stay closed until the virus is under control.

Schumer said the money could be used to hire back staff that were furloughed or laid off. The funds could also be used for rent and utilities.

Stamford Mayor David Martin says the reopening of these businesses is vital for the economy in Fairfield County.

“People come to Downtown Stamford to attend our restaurants and partake in our great entertainment and food options that we have down here and they couple that with a visit to the Palace Theater and whether it’s a Broadway show or comedian on stage or a dance troupe, it’s always been great,” he said.