Broadway Businesses Seek New York State “Revive & Rebuild” Economic Relief Plan

A coalition of New York arts businesses and organizations, including Tony Awards co-presenter the American Theatre Wing, is calling on New York state legislators for economic relief and support for industries devastated by the year-long Covid-19 pandemic shutdown.

In a four-part “Proposal to Revive And Rebuild The New York State Creative Economy,” the Wing, along with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Costume Industry Coalition and Be An Arts Hero, urges New York State legislators to provide:

  • Revival Grants to invest in labor and the infrastructure necessary for safe reopening;
  • Rebuilding Grants to sustain the sector as losses continue to accrue during the
    recovery period;
  • Tax Incentives to support the rebuilding process;
  • An Independent Contractor Relief Program to provide direct relief to artists and
    encourage their return to New York State.

The proposal – read it here – cites research by the Americans for the Arts organization indicating the pandemic’s “catastrophic” impact on the arts sector, with $28 billion in lost revenue by creative businesses and $8.3 billion in lost revenue for creative workers in 2020 alone. The proposal and petition states that with most New York State arts venues anticipating continued full or partial closure through December 2021, the total potential loss to creative businesses could hit $57.1 billion and and $16.9 billion by creative workers before the end of the year.

“With the state poised to receive an estimated $12B in federal relief funds,” the petition notes, “we propose the following four programs, to provide immediate relief, enable the sector to open safely and help rebuild New York’ state economy.”

The federal $1.9 billion Covid-19 relief bill expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden tomorrow provides targeted relief for live venues and movie theaters, as did last December’s so-called Save Our Stages plan. The new “Revive And Rebuild” proposal would broaden assistance to such affiliated businesses as hard-hit costume shops and prop makers.

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