Sunday Spotlight – Resources for Musicians affected by COVID-19

Brian Paden, a member of the Gordon Law Group in Nashville, sent this list of resources to me and I want to share it with everyone else. Gordon Law specializes in entertainment law. All of our musicians are suffering and yet many are carrying on with Facebook concerts, driven by the need not only to make money but to share their music. It is as vital to them as breathing.

So, I want to share what Mr. Paden sent and I hope there is something beneficial in this. Please help spread the word by sharing everywhere!

If you are a creative who is struggling especially hard due to the effects of the coronavirus, you should be aware of the resources that are available to help you weather the storm.

First, the CARES Act was signed into law a few days ago. The main impact for creatives is that this legislation makes non-traditional employees (such as freelancers and gig workers – yes, even musicians) eligible to receive unemployment benefits where they were not able to receive relief before. Instead of scraping by like normal, folks in the gigging community can receive unemployment benefits.

The CARES Act also, among many other things, (i) expands unemployment benefits by $600/week for up to four months, (ii) incentivizes states to eliminate “waiting week” provisions so unemployed workers can receive benefits immediately, and(iii)  provides federal funding for an addition 13 weeks of unemployment benefits through December 31, 2020, for workers who have utilized all available state unemployment benefits.

If you run a small business (like an independent studio, publishing company, or marketing firm) the CARES Act also provides loans for employers with few than 500 employees to help you make payroll and cover other expenses from February 15 – June 30. These loans may be forgiven if the money is used for payroll, interest payments on mortgages, rent, and utilities.

In addition to the CARES Act, private organizations are also doing what they can to help creatives. Some programs are genre-specific, some are only for members, and some even cover support staff who are not creatives (like stage crew). Check out the links below to see if there is an organization or program that can help you outlast the coronaverse. 

https://members.a2im.org/covid-19/resources/

https://agmarelief.org

https://cerfplus.org/get-relief/apply-for-help/

https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants

https://www.foundationforcontemporaryarts.org/grants/emergency-grants

https://www.sweetrelief.org/covid-19-fund.html

https://www.lighthopelife.org/tour-support

Maybe there is something in all of this that will be helpful. Together we’ll get through this hard time!

18 thoughts on “Sunday Spotlight – Resources for Musicians affected by COVID-19

  1. Thanks for sharing, Jan. Here in Oregon, there’s a huge log jam in just about every area. Claims are taking forever and people are told to call (unemployment, for example) and then can’t get through. What a mess. You’re so kind to help clarify how the CARES Act is supposed to work and to provide links. I wasn’t aware that it applied to musicians and other creatives, but that totally makes sense. Thanks so much for your thoughtful post! Be well, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the same everywhere, Diana. The Texas Workforce Commission is under the same burden. One lady took a picture of her phone and she had spent over 2,000 hours trying to get through to apply for unemployment. Their website has crashed. It’s just a mess! I too am hoping some of the hard-hit musicians can find some help. That was my purpose in sharing. You have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a great list of resources, Jan. Thanks for sharing! My brother-in-law is an assistant director for music videos and commercials. He’s already contacted his accountant to help him with understanding how the CARES act can benefit him, since almost everything has been shut down.

    Liked by 1 person

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