Shaheen Backs Bill to Help NH Live Entertainment Industry Survive Pandemic

August 12, 2020

ENCORES Act will help small, independent music venues cover refunded ticket costs

(Washington, DC) – With the live music industry shuttered across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced her support today for the Entertainments New Credit Opportunity for Relief and Economic Sustainability (ENCORES) Act, which was introduced last month by U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Tom Carper (D-DE), to make sure small, independent music and entertainment venues can survive until crowds can gather safely again. Specifically, the bill would create a new tax credit for live entertainment venues with fewer than 500 employees to help cover the cost of refunded tickets for shows that were canceled due to the pandemic.

Senator Shaheen is also a cosponsor of the Save Our Stages Act, bipartisan legislation that would authorize the Small Business Administration to provide grants for businesses – including independent and live performance venues – to help offset their lost revenues due to COVID-19 related closures.

“New Hampshire’s independent entertainment venues are some of the worst-hit businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. To help this industry survive, Congress needs to act and provide urgently needed help,” said Shaheen. “Our live music and independent venues enrich our communities and we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to support them so they can get to the other side of this crisis.”

The ENCORES Act tax credit will allow music venues to recoup some of the losses they have experienced due to ticket refunds from canceled events. To be eligible for the credit, businesses must have offered a voucher to customers first, and customers opted for a refund instead.

Bill text of the ENCORES Act is available here.

Senator Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurshiphelped negotiate the small business relief programs that were established in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was signed into law in March. Over $2.5 billion in assistance has been disbursed to more than 24,000 businesses across New Hampshire through the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). However, many small businesses continue to struggle. Shaheen is continuing to call for the passage of the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program (P4) Act, legislation she introduced that would allow these small businesses to access a second round of PPP loans.