Independent entertainment facilities eligible for funding due to COVID-19

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BINGHAMTON, NY – Independent entertainment facilities across the country are preparing to apply for sizable funding that could make up for much of what was lost due to the virus.

The Broome County Forum Theater and the Visions Veterans Memorial Arena could receive funding from the Save Our Stages Act, which was included in the latest stimulus package.

The federal government announced Sunday the approval of the bill, which will provide 15 billion dollars to independent live venue operators across the nation.

Money a facility receives will go toward rent, utilities, regular maintenance, and other things.

Theater and Arena General Manager Chris Marion says he’s hopeful the county’s application will be accepted for funding by the bill.

“Any funding we can get from the federal government offsets what local taxpayers have to put into the operation of this building. Even when buildings like this are not open for live events, there are still a lot of costs that are incurred. Anything that we get now offsets those expenses.”

To be eligible, a center must have lost 25% or more of its annual revenue, and many complexes have lost much more than that after being shut down for so long.

While the application process has not yet begun, Marion says the facilities hoping for a little over 300 thousand dollars to cover many of the costs to maintain them.

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