Request US Federal Action for Devastated Live Events Industry
First, thank you for your tireless effort and dedication to controlling the covid-19 outbreak and the immediate release of aid to those caught in the first waves of the economic contraction. I am writing as a part of the wide and diverse Live Events Coalition. Our petition has over 450,000 individuals who have signed their support. As you know, business meetings, nonprofit galas/fundraisers, weddings, concerts, sporting events, trade shows, conferences, theatrical productions, and countless other events have been cancelled by the millions. Most troubling is news that our industry may not open up again for a year or more.
In 2016, just the business events portion of our industry represented $845 billion in business sales annually and employed 5.9 million jobs worth $249 billion in labor income, contributing $104 billion to federal, state and local taxes. The Live Events sector supports more direct jobs than many large manufacturing sectors, including machinery, food, auto, chemicals, telecommunications and oil and gas extraction industries.
While small businesses and event workers will benefit to some degree from the stimulus packages approved thus far, the live events industry as a whole is in dire straits. With expected industry revenue loss between 60% to 80%, many businesses are facing permanent closure and we’ve furloughed on average 85% of our workforce. Across the Live Events industry, we are coming to terms with the fact that revenues generated by events will likely not begin to minimally flow until September or October of this year. Some segments of the industry will likely not return until Q1 of 2021 or later. We anticipate 12 months or longer until we begin to see revenue levels normalize. The ripple effects of the shut-down of live events cannot be understated. Our industry, when every sector of events is accounted for, employs over 10 million people and includes hundreds of thousands of businesses. Live events are the second largest industry in total for the US economy and the fastest growing industry prior to this pandemic, with yearly increases above 5% GDP.
In response to the dire economic impact to the Live Events Industry, as stated above we respectfully request the following actions be taken by the United States Federal Government to stabilize and revitalize our industry to a strong recovery that will fuel the entire economy as a whole.
· FAMILY STABILIZATION: Legislation and policy directives to immediately stabilize all Live Events workers and families at 90% of their expected household income for 2020 through subsidies and other generalized benefits for Live Events workers, including 1099 Freelancers and contractors.
· HEALTH INSURANCE: Legislation and policy directives to address Live Events workers and families who lost health coverage through layoffs and furloughs; or are being extended employer funded coverage during furlough but have an inability to pay employee share. Further, upon reemployment, we ask that insurance coverage be reinstated immediately, with no waiting periods or limitations to preexisting conditions. Finally, we call for any and all bridge remedies, including but not limited to expanded emergency Medicaid for Live Events workers.
· INSURANCE RECOVERY FUND: Federal and State Government collaboration with Insurance companies to immediately address business insurance coverage with Federal backing to address lost revenue as a result of event cancellations and complete disruption of our Industry. At present, most insurance companies are not providing coverage of lost revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic while our premiums remain the same despite a shut-down of all live events.
· ECONOMIC STABILIZATION & DEVELOPMENT: Provide a multi billion dollar initiative for a “Live Events Industry Stabilization & Development Fund” to be allocated over 8 months directly for businesses whose primary revenue source is derived from the business of live events. We propose this fund administer grants to businesses for workforce retention to spawn innovation and organizational advancement through technology and workforce development. These Innovation and Stabilization Grants ensure that businesses of all sizes can recover from catastrophic revenue loss due to imposed shut down of live events industry, ensuring actualization of 80% for expected net income over the effected months.
I thank you once again and urge you to sponsor and support legislation that addresses the crisis in our industry.
Live Events Coalition Supporter: