June 4, 2020
The Honorable Jerome Powell
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
20th Street & Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20551
The Honorable Steven T. Mnuchin
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20220
Dear Chairman Powell and Secretary Mnuchin:
On behalf of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) membership, I write to ask for your leadership in helping our members obtain much needed financial assistance during this national crisis for the public assembly venues at which they work. Public assembly venues exist in every community in the United States. IAVM members are the front-line staff at public assembly venues, including arenas, stadiums, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, convention centers, universities, fairgrounds, amphitheaters, etc., which serve as the bedrock of economic activity in both large and small towns across America. From barbershops to local restaurants and hotels, public venues are responsible for helping drive revenues to independent locally owned businesses. Other local businesses and individual staff work exclusively in presenting live events and they too, have been financially damaged with the lack of events to support. This multiplier effect could be the determining factor between a struggling and a thriving community-based business district, in a post-pandemic era.
Currently, the majority of the venues described above are not eligible for the PPP program or the Main Street Lending Program, due to their status as not for profit quasi-governmental entities.
The PPP program currently excludes non-profits that are publicly created. Over 72% of IAVM’s members work at venues that, although established by a political subdivision of a state or local government, fund their operations primarily through event revenues, just like privately-owned venues. They receive little to no funding from government, and because these venues are not included in state and local budgets, they will not receive federal COVID-19 relief funds designated for state and local governments.
We understand that the Federal Reserve is currently considering making changes to the Main Street Lending Program, to allow not-for-profit organizations to qualify for certain program loans. We are in full support of such efforts and ask that any newly adopted changes in the Main Street Lending eligibility requirements extend to public assembly venues established by state and local governments.
The significant contributions of public assembly venues to our local economies should not be overlooked during the current time of crisis, nor should their eligibility to qualify for a loan under PPP or a newly revised Main Street Lending Program rest solely on the question of whether they are public versus private not-for-profit organizations.
We respectfully ask for your leadership and support in assuring that public assembly venues are included in the Administration’s COVID-19 relief efforts.
Thank you in advance for considering this request.
Brad Mayne, CVE
President and CEO