Some help is on the way for the entertainment industry.
Wednesday morning, state leaders are holding a press conference at Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth to highlight the good news.
Congressman Roger Williams (R, TX-25) is expected to speak alongside management from entertainment industry professionals like Billy Bob's, Encore Live and Visit Fort Worth/Hear Fort Worth.
The Save Our Stages Act, which has been included in the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package, is expected to provide $15 billion to eligible live entertainment venues, performing arts organizations, museums and motion picture operators across the country that have been shut down during the pandemic.
Many of those businesses have been struggling in North Texas.
Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth has been allowed to open and operate as a restaurant for the last few months but management said they are worried about others in the industry.
“We’re working a lot harder to make less money but we are working, that’s the key," said Billy Bob's general manager Marty Travis. "I wouldn’t say that we’re profitable but we’re open and being able to keep our head above water. And I just feel bad for places can be open at all."
He said the relief money will help keep the industry afloat for now as the country heads into uncertain territory in 2021.
“Now, we’re getting ready to end the year and enter 2021 with a new leaf, but right now, we’re just happy there’s relief for the world coming because we’re lucky to be working, but a lot of places are not working," Travis said. "So, the fact that we’re already there is good. The fact that there’s relief coming in the form of government aid is really going to help the big part of the industry."
It will be up to the Small Business Administration to decide a framework on how to divvy out the $15 billion in relief. Event operators will be able to apply to grants up to $10 million to help with payroll, rent, utilities and PPE.