Economic Relief for Musicians and the Gig Economy

With only one month and change left of the year, most of us are ready to give 2020 a quick goodbye and a shove out of the proverbial door. However, while many get ready to dismiss this year altogether, before it ends, Congress has one last opportunity to make a positive mark on 2020 and improve the lives of those who bring joy to all of ours.

Beneath the stack of introduced legislation lie several bipartisan bills waiting for action. Combined, these bills help the music community in a variety of crucial ways and will benefit music creators and small business owners for years to come.

As the pandemic has progressed, we’ve seen industries such as restaurant and hospitality start to open up, as they find new ways of doing business. However, with music venues remaining closed, music creators have struggled to find sustainable ways to earn a livable income.

This music ecosystem is only a small part of a larger business environment made up of music venues, independent studios, and other small businesses which, while adapting to new ways of doing business, are struggling to stay afloat amid continuing lockdowns. There are two bills that would help individuals and small businesses in the form of both grants and loans to eligible music creators and the venues and promoters which help enable their success. Both have received bipartisan support for the solutions they offer to those who lost wages due to the pandemic.

When people think of this ecosystem, the term “gig worker” doesn’t always come to mind. However, many creators, including singers, composers, and others are actually the original gig workers — individuals who are self-employed and work on several individual projects a year. Or play gigs such as conventions, wedding’s and other special events

Among those eligible for CARES Act benefits extended to gig workers, many were unable to receive their entire benefit because so many of the unemployment systems weren’t able to process mixed income streams., many of the CARES Act benefits, including expanded unemployment for self-employed and gig workers, are set to expire on Dec. 31 — leaving 13 million Americans without unemployment benefits. We also need more PPP loans to help many musicians who are Sub S Corps, LLC and C Corps as many do business this way.

Our country is on a slow but steady path to recovery. As the 116th session comes to a close, Congress can make the lame duck session anything but lame by passing bipartisan legislation

Lets hope congress and the senate does not forget the plight of all musicians