Coronavirus News: New legislation seeks federal relief for Broadway

COVID-19 News and Information
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Closures due to the coronavirus pandemic are threatening to damage Broadway for years to come if the federal government does not step in and provide funding to buoy the industry, Sen. Charles Schumer said Friday.

All New York City Broadway shows were initially canceled back in mid-March and those cancellations have since been extended through at least January 3, 2021.

"As theatre people we're used to gathering to celebrate, to share and to heal and we've not been able to do that since March and it's unclear when we will be able to do that again. It has been devastating both financially and spiritually," actress and director Schele William said.

Schumer said the 2018-2019 Broadway season alone delivered $14.7 billion to the city's economy and sustained about 100,000 direct, full-time jobs.

He is pushing to provide much-needed federal relief in the form of the Save Our Stages Act.

"We are fighting hard to keep the stages alive, the stories told and the shows going on. The show must go on and we're fighting to make sure New York City and Broadway get a Lion's King share of federal relief," Schumer said.

The legislation would create a $10 billion Small Business Administration program to provide grants to eligible shows, productions, venue operators, producers, promoters, or talent representatives to help cover six months of operating expenses and offset the economic impact of COVID-19.

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Suddenly, the brutal death of George Floyd while in the custody of police officers in Minneapolis filled the streets of a nation with rage and sorrow. New York was no different. Protesters put the fear of the virus aside and took to the streets by the thousands. Abandoning the safety and comfort of social distance, to demand social change.


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