NEW ORLEANS – Live performance venues are springing back to life in New Orleans, but many will need more than music; they’ll need money.
It’s been a tough year and the struggle isn’t over as venues face tight capacity limits. Owners are doing what they can to reopen and stay open.
Howie Kaplan, the owner of Howlin’ Wolf said, “If we think it’s going to come back on its own, it’s not. We all need to work a little bit harder, a little bit smarter and work together.”
New Orleans leaders are looking to give direct relief.
Two permit fees for music venues will be waived this year and if the business already paid, the money will be refunded.
“It’s a no brainer,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “It wasn’t something that I had to question, but to make sure that you are trying to alleviate any expense, any burden placed on our music venues and or businesses, bars.”
The city will also offer small grants up to $2500. Venues must use the money to buy things like plexiglass partitions, personal protective equipment as well as to make other upgrades mandated by the State Fire Marshal.
Federal money will also soon be available through the Small Business Administration. Mayor Cantrell hopes these opportunities are a lifeline to keep businesses open.
“We do understand the burdens and sacrifices that have been placed on all of our businesses. We’re hopeful this infusion of federal resources will come right on time,” Cantrell said.
The city wants to make it easy for venues and musicians to apply for local and federal relief.
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