U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Wednesday, Dec. 8, along with Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) introduced the bipartisan Music Under Severe Income Crisis (MUSIC) Act. The new legislation would expand the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG) program to include companies that support live events that were left out of the grant program created by the December 2020 COVID-19 relief bill. The grants support qualifying live event industry businesses that suffered losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the original bill only helped support venues, managers, booking agents, and promoters, which only make up 8% of the live events industry.

The MUSIC Act aims to aid those left out from the original program by including companies that should have originally been eligible and whose support to the live event industry is vital. The bill expands the program through North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes while adding an impact threshold of 70% to target businesses for which a substantial amount of revenue comes from supporting live events and allows businesses that have been severely impacted to take advantage of the program.

“Only a small percentage of the live event industry has been able to withstand the pressures of the pandemic,” said Sen. Warnock. “Previous federal relief efforts left behind lighting, staging, audio-visual, performers, and so many other workers who help entertain us and keep the live events industry afloat. I’m proud to partner with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to support the small businesses that fuel Georgia’s economy. The MUSIC Act will help ensure that the small businesses that comprise the live-event industry and help bring light and joy to our lives will be able to continue putting smiles on our faces for years to come.”

Earlier this year, Sen. Warnock introduced bipartisan legislation to help protect small businesses from security breaches and has been a tireless advocate for Georgia’s small businesses as they navigate the recovery from the pandemic. 

Read the bill text here.