The live music industry has come to a complete stand still in most of the world. In the United States it was predicted to bring in over 10 billion USD in 2020 so it’s no wonder why many gigging musicians were concerned with whether they would receive any help during this crisis. Most musicians/DJs have dozens if not hundreds of contracted gigs in which they are not considered to be an employee of the respective company or person that hired them. This would be devastating to millions of people that rely on their gigs to survive if there was no assistance for this group of workers.
Let’s dive right in with the new 2 trillion dollar stimulus package the U.S. has officially passed to provide direct financial support to it’s people and businesses impacted by the outbreak. As long as your taxes are up to date as of 2018 and you make below $75,000 USD you will receive a onetime, $1200 stimulus check; an additional $500 for every dependent under 16.
$1200 will only go so far so if you are no longer working you should immediately apply for unemployment. Each state will have a different policy when it comes to unemployment, however the federal government is stepping in and providing an additional $600/week on top of whatever your state benefits provide. This is the part of the bill that will help keep most of afloat; there will be a flood of applicants so apply (for your state unemployment) asap but be patient.
Equal Sound is a nonprofit that was quick to step up to the plate and offer assistance to musicians that have lost work due to COVID-19. If you have proof that you had a gig that was cancelled then you can receive up to $500 USD via their relief fund. You can apply for the Corona Relief Fund here.
Many companies are providing financial relief from their reoccurring bills. It’s up to you to reach out and ask what options they have for those affected by the pandemic. I have had my car loan, phone bill and credit card payments all pushed back at least two months. Mortgages backed or owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other federal entities will be a part of a nationwide temporary eviction moratorium. This will last for 120 days after the bill passes, and landlords also can’t charge any fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent.
A big part of financial stability over the coming months will consist of being void of reoccurring monthly payments. Ask yourself if you really need all of those streaming services or if you even use that extra business line. At the end of the day it looks like the state/federal governments and the private/charitable sectors are taking some measures to ensure our economy doesn’t completely collapse and that includes protecting the musicians/DJs and gigging workers. If you want to learn more about the stimulus package check out this article by the N.Y. Times that breaks down frequently asked questions.
As unemployment rates are expected to reach and surpass 15% in the coming weeks, our experts at Bankrate created a 13 step guide detailing measures you can take to remain financially stable after losing your job.
Bankrate Inc has also created a guide that outlines 13 helpful steps people can take after losing their job. In an attempt to share this information with those who have been affected, and can be reach at https://www.bankrate.com/personal-finance/smart-money/what-to-do-if-lost-job-coronavirus/ of contact Mackin Mary Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org