October 29, 2020

Duckworth Discusses COVID-19 Relief Efforts with Chicago Independent Venue League


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) spoke with members of the Chicago Independent Venue League this week to discuss the relief efforts needed to support concert and live event venues in the Chicagoland area during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Duckworth spoke with The Hideout owner Katie Tuten, The Metro owner Joe Shanahan and The Whistler owner Billy Helmkamp, whose venues have been closed since the beginning of the pandemic.

“I had a productive call with members of the Chicago Independent Venue League to discuss much-needed relief for their industry,” Duckworth said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has hit small businesses, including live event venues and the vibrant arts and music scene in Chicago and across Illinois, hard and I’ll keep working to make sure they have the support they need.”

“The Chicago Independent Venue League (CIVL) and the National Independent Venue Association – Illinois (NIVA-IL) feel that Senator Duckworth’s strong support of Save Our Stages is a critical first step toward relief to Illinois’s cultural institutions and economic drivers,” Shanahan said. “Independently owned and operated music venues across the state were among the first businesses to close during COVID-19 and will be the last to reopen. There will be no reopening in the future without federal relief now. We are thankful for Senator Duckworth, along with Senator Durbin and 13 Illinois delegates, for their bipartisan leadership and hope it serves as a catalyst for Congress to pass the relief legislation when they reconvene next month.”

Earlier this year, Duckworth co-sponsored the Save our Stages Act, legislation that would provide Small Business Administration grants for independent live music venue operators affected by COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Duckworth also helped introduce the RESTART Act, which would also create a loan program to provide funding to jump-start the hardest-hit businesses for the remainder of 2020 and provide loan forgiveness as a backstop against ongoing economic challenges.