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Send a Letter to Your Senators

Senators Harris and Feinstein,

While we applaud the governance and disciplined approach to this crisis in California, we remain deeply concerned for the truly small businesses of the country, especially in the field of hospitality. Despite assurances that small businesses would receive essential financial aid in response to the Covid-19 crisis, many continue to struggle with staying afloat.  Unless swift and comprehensive financial assistance is provided, millions of American families risk financial ruin.  

We are deeply troubled that the truly small businesses, those independently run by passionate individuals and small teams, are not receiving the funds they deserve. By definition, a small business is one with a limited amount of resources. Larger “small” businesses have more resources and banks to help them navigate this, but the smallest independent and small businesses are under-resourced and navigating alone. The events industry will not recover anytime soon; we were the first to be affected and unfortunately will be the last to come back.

In 2019, our industry held 247,413 weddings in California, which amounted to nearly $3.8 billion spent here. This total increases to $9.6 billion when accounting for the luxury wedding market. Moreover, a large percentage of these events were for out-of-state couples, who bring in valuable revenue for our hotel, restaurant and tourism partners — not to mention municipal and state governments through affiliated entertainment and travel taxes. These figures not include live sports, concerts, conferences, tradeshows, and theatres.

We need a stimulus package to support those who work with live events and hospitality! 

Small businesses are the heart of California, the heart of America. We in the live events industry are artists and craftspeople, florists, flower farmers, rental companies, bakeries, musicians, entertainers, lighting designers, providers of transportation, catering, beverage, photography, videography, and the list goes on and on.  In the live events industry, the number of people involved is greater than most people know.  And the people that work in this industry aren’t in it to get rich, but to share their passion, their artistry, making people happy, and put a smile on their face.  We provide life experiences that allow people to leave their worries behind and find joy.  It is heartbreaking that our industry is being left out of receiving the aid and guidance we need to survive. 

Even as the shelter-in-place is modified and lifted, social distancing remains, and the events industry will need so much more time to recuperate and revive themselves. One of the biggest issues is that without direction we are facing huge legal consequences as we can’t postpone and cancel events without government directives. So clients and small businesses are now facing legal battles to do the right thing. We all know events won’t be back for quite some time; if you publicly say that, then people will either negotiate in good faith or we can use the force majeure clause. Right now, thousands of families, couples and small businesses are in limbo. Giving clear rules on private gatherings will enable people to reschedule their events without as much financial consequence. 

This is what we need:

-Please support and cosponsor S. 3814, the RESTART Act, introduced by Senators Young and Bennet, which would ensure the survival of independent live events small businesses across the nation.
- Grants specifically geared to event professionals to help us cover keeping staff employed.
- Zero or low interest loans to help us survive the next nine months of cancellations and uncertainty. 
- Set aside funds for smaller businesses, solopreneurs, freelancers and gig workers.
- Insurance companies to pay the “interruption in business” claims we have filed.
- Clear dates of closures. Rather than cancelling events one-by-one, please give event planners – and our clients – a clear date of closure. - I realize we cannot know when things will open, but perhaps a clear statement on how long events of a certain size will be prohibited. 
- Clear guidelines or regulations when events are allowed to occur. Most large production events include dancing and close mingling and creating clear guidelines will make it easier for live event vendors to support regulations.
- Treat us like the $400 billion industry we are and include us as an industry.  Social and corporate events support well over 3 million jobs, most of whom are filled by small businesses and freelancers. These are the people being left out of financial aid.

In normal times, this industry is a fundamental part of our lives. People want to have fun, enjoy a good meal, listen to great music, dance the night away. The people who create these experiences that bring us together – these are the people whose businesses are suffering the most. If we don’t do something soon, there will be no one left to create these experiences for you.  Please send help before it’s too late.  

Sincerely,
California Live Event Coalition 

Alicia Falango Founder of Alicia K Designs and Owner of EYC Rentals
Kate Whelan, President of Kate Whelan Creative Inc and Partner of The Poppy Group LLC
Heidi Hughlett, Owner of Coastside Couture

 

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Tweet Governor Newsom

The events industry needs urgent action. Millions will lose their jobs. Hundreds of thousands of businesses will close, and the creators of the events that celebrate our milestone moments could be gone forever. Together we are stronger, and your voice is needed to strengthen our cause.
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Tweet Mayor Darrell Steinberg (Sacramento)

The events industry needs urgent action. Millions will lose their jobs. Hundreds of thousands of businesses will close, and the creators of the events that celebrate our milestone moments could be gone forever. Together we are stronger, and your voice is needed to strengthen our cause.
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Tweet Mayor Kevin Faulconer (San Diego)

The events industry needs urgent action. Millions will lose their jobs. Hundreds of thousands of businesses will close, and the creators of the events that celebrate our milestone moments could be gone forever. Together we are stronger, and your voice is needed to strengthen our cause.
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Tweet Mayor London Breed (San Francisco)

The events industry needs urgent action. Millions will lose their jobs. Hundreds of thousands of businesses will close, and the creators of the events that celebrate our milestone moments could be gone forever. Together we are stronger, and your voice is needed to strengthen our cause.
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Tweet Mayor Sam Liccardo (San Jose)

The events industry needs urgent action. Millions will lose their jobs. Hundreds of thousands of businesses will close, and the creators of the events that celebrate our milestone moments could be gone forever. Together we are stronger, and your voice is needed to strengthen our cause.
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Tweet Mayor Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles)

The events industry needs urgent action. Millions will lose their jobs. Hundreds of thousands of businesses will close, and the creators of the events that celebrate our milestone moments could be gone forever. Together we are stronger, and your voice is needed to strengthen our cause.
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Tweet Mayor Lee Brand (Fresno)

The events industry needs urgent action. Millions will lose their jobs. Hundreds of thousands of businesses will close, and the creators of the events that celebrate our milestone moments could be gone forever. Together we are stronger, and your voice is needed to strengthen our cause.