Washington D.C. (July 3, 2020) – The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, Live Events Coalition, National Association of Theatre Owners, National Independent Talent Organization, National Independent Venue Association, National Restaurant Association, Outdoor Amusement Business Association, Sports Events and Tourism Association, and The Broadway League applaud the introduction of the RESTART Act in the House of Representatives today by Reps. Jared Golden (D ME) and Mike Kelly (R-PA). We urge Congress to swiftly enact the bill to save our cinemas, theaters, live music venues and performing artists, agents, and touring teams, events management, restaurants, places of amusement, recreational businesses, and health and fitness clubs, and the millions of jobs we provide across the country.
Our businesses are among the hardest hit by the pandemic. As public gathering places and events, we were among the first businesses to close our doors. Since mid-March, our businesses have earned virtually no revenue, and yet we have seen our fixed expenses mount week after week. In many cases, our recoveries may be delayed far longer than those in other sectors of the economy.
The RESTART Act provides a solution to the desperate need for capital faced by cinemas, theaters, live music venues and performing artists, agents, and touring teams, events management, restaurants, places of amusement, recreational businesses, and health and fitness clubs whose operations have been severely curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation establishes a loan program tailored to the circumstances of small and mid-sized shuttered businesses that have experienced more than 25% in losses. The RESTART loan program provides access to partially forgivable seven-year loans covering six months of expenses, a lifeline for our businesses that have been left behind by existing loan programs.
Our businesses are integral to the social, cultural, and economic life of our communities, supporting local economies and the dreams of thousands of entrepreneurs. Without a loan program such as the one contemplated in the RESTART Act, we fear our businesses simply will not survive this crisis. We urge Congress to pass the RESTART Act and save our businesses.
The National Association of Theatre Owners is the largest exhibition trade organization in the world, representing over 35,000 movie screens in all 50 states, and additional cinemas in 100 countries worldwide.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with a second office in Los Angeles, California, NATO represents its members in the heart of the nation’s capital as well as the center of the entertainment industry. From these vantage points, NATO helps exhibition influence federal policy-making and work with movie distributors on all areas of mutual concern, from new technologies to legislation, marketing, and First Amendment issues.