Without another stimulus check package, many industries are in danger of irreversible damage by the coronavirus pandemic, including the live music industry. The latest stimulus bill proposed by House Democrats included economic aid for live music venues around the country, but on Tuesday, President Donald Trump ordered stimulus negotiations to stop until after the 2020 presidential election. Now, live venues say they are in serious danger of going under.
The National Independent Venue Association spoke out against Trump's stimulus pause on Tuesday, calling for more aid. The association's director of communications, Audrey Fix Shaefer, said: "We have been sounding the alarm since April that if our members don't get emergency assistance, they will go under forever — and it's happening. This is real. We need help. We urge Congress and the White House to continue negotiations and reach a deal quickly or there will be a mass collapse of this industry."
Is the president now in favor of a stimulus package?
The article he has retweeted includes the quote, “Powell said that now would be the wrong time for policymakers to take their foot off the gas.”
Trump tweeted just hours ago he told his team to stop negotiations. pic.twitter.com/7RMQ9OqLpK— Jaclyn Cangro (@JaclynCangro) October 6, 2020
Trump announced an end to stimulus negotiations abruptly on Tuesday, in a tweet sent from self-isolation as he himself recovers from COVID-19. He wrote that the House's plan would "bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States," and that he would not negotiate any further "until after the election." This outraged voters on both sides, many of whom are desperate for more economic aid as the economic contraction of the coronavirus pandemic stretches on.
Trump doubled down on this rhetoric about "Democrat failed, high crime, Cities and States" in another tweet, later on, puzzling many followers about his allegiance to the U.S. However, he also retweeted a CNBC article saying that a new stimulus check should be passed as soon as possible, adding "True!" Finally, Trump claimed that he would pass a small bill for stimulus checks alone, but would not pass an overarching economic aid package.
Unfortunately, that is the kind of package that economists say would have the strongest impact on this recession. In addition to music venues, restaurants, airlines and other in-person industries are counting on government aid to see them through this slow period until a COVID-19 vaccine is ready. This will allow them to continue paying workers and hold onto their assets until it is safe to reopen in-person businesses.
Schaefer wrote that NIVA is "hoping for the sake of our furloughed employees that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance will be extended, as people are suffering through no fault of their own." So far, Trump has not clarified his position on the next stimulus package any further.