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Report: As Nearly 95% Of Creators Lose Income, Many Turn To CARES Act
A new survey from the Americans for the Arts shows just how widespread and devastating the pandemic has been for many who working artists and further underscore the importance of understanding and utilizing available government support. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at the reality of the problem and what can be done to soften the blow.
The study asked nearly 18,000 creative workers, teachers and small business owners in the creative arts how the COVID-19 crisis has affected them, with a staggering 94.9 percent saying they experienced a loss of income as a result of the pandemic and 61.8 percent saying they are now fully unemployed.
These numbers may not come as a surprise to anyone following the coronavirus' effect on the music industry, but they certainly illustrate the need for answers.
Americans for the Arts asked how creative workers plan to supplement that lost income, considering 51.9 percent reported having "no savings," and an additional 28.1 percent have only "1-2 months" income in the bank. So where will they turn? The top two answers received were "apply for unemployment" and "apply for relief in the form of grants." This is where the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act comes into play.
Decoding The CARES Act
To help creators navigate the $2 trillion stimulus plan, the Recording Academy has established the CARES Act Helpline, and held a second webinar to discuss additional questions submitted by creators last week. Moderated by Chief Industry, Government, & Member Relations Officer Daryl P. Friedman, the informative webinar featured experts from Greenberg Traurig law firm, Monica Schulteis and Kelly Bunting. If you missed Friday’s webinar, you can still watch it here.
SBA Funds Are Replenished
As noted in the Americans for the Arts survey, many music creators are turning to support resources available through the Small Business Administration (SBA) in order to ease the financial burden caused by the pandemic. After quickly running out of the first $349 billion in emergency funds included in the CARES Act earlier this month, the SBA began accepting new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program on Monday morning. The funding for these new loans was part of last week’s supplemental emergency appropriations bill.
The new bill includes $320 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $75 billion for hospitals, $60 billion for the SBA’s disaster relief loans and grants, and $25 billion for COVID-19 testing.
Congress Holds Hearing on COVID-19 Relief
To further support music makers during these difficult and uncertain times, the Recording Academy and MusiCares recently established the COVID-19 Relief Fund.
If you are an artist or music professional who has been impacted by this unprecedented circumstance and are in need of assistance, please visit our MusiCares page to learn more about the financial, medical and personal emergencies services and resources offered by the Recording Academy.