We applaud the bipartisan agreement reached in the Senate today to provide relief to movie theaters their employees and so many other public-facing industries that have had to close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this agreement, movie theaters can look forward with confidence to re-opening and once again serving their communities when this crisis has passed.
While some details remain to be worked out, the broad provisions of the agreement help movie theaters and their workers in so many ways.
- A $454 billion loan guarantee fund provides access to capital allowing movie theaters and other businesses to pay their fixed costs while they are unable to generate revenue through normal operations.
- Expanded SBA programs that will allow small businesses – the vast majority of theater companies – to do the same, with several categories of expenses eligible for loan forgiveness.
- Provisions allowing deferral of payroll taxes, expanded opportunity for loss carrybacks for businesses, and technical corrections regarding qualified improvement property.
- Employee retention tax credit for businesses that keep people on the payroll despite closures or that see large sales losses.
- Up to four months of direct aid to workers through extended and expanded unemployment insurance, including increases in the weekly dollar amount and eligibility for part-time employees.
- Advanced tax deductions to workers payable now.
With this aid, movie theaters can get through this crisis confident in being able to re-open, knowing their vital, trained workforce is able to weather this pandemic and have jobs waiting for them when it is safe to reopen.
We are grateful for the work of Congress and the Administration and those, in and out of the entertainment industry who have supported our efforts on behalf of this industry that is so central to our culture and civic life. We look forward to its quick passage in the House and signature by the President.
The National Association of Theatre Owners is the largest exhibition trade organization in the world, representing more than 33,000 movie screens in all 50 states, and more than 32,000 additional screens in 98 countries worldwide.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with a second office in North Hollywood, 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. www.natoonline.org