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Sen. Tester leads bill to aid entertainment industry

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (1) – 7/29/20

Montana Sen. Jon Tester and Delaware Sen. Tom Carper introduced the“Entertainments New Credit Opportunity for Relief & Economic Sustainability” (ENCORES) Act, a bill that will create a tax credit for live entertainment venues with fewer than 500 employees to help cover the cost of refunded tickets for shows that were canceled due to the pandemic. Small entertainment venues across the state and nation have been hit hard, unable to host shows in the wake of COVID-19. The ENCORES bill will benefit not only the music venues, but neighboring businesses like hotels, restaurants and stores. Independent theater owners have so far responded positively to this effort.

“As our industry faces an indefinite shutdown, the largest expense for independent venues and promoters is the cost of refunding tickets for shows that will not be able to happen to the foreseeable future,” said Nick Checota, owner of Logjam Presents, The Wilma Theater, Top Hat Lounge, and the KettleHouse Amphitheater in Missoula. “Senator Tester’s ENCORES Act would provide local venues like mine the help we need to face this challenge.”

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