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Getting Our Economy Back on Track

Aug 8, 2020
Newsletter

Music venues are a central part of our fabric here in Texas and they need our help. As COVID-19 began sweeping across the nation and government mandates meant businesses had to halt their work, live independent music venues were the first to close and will be among the last to reopen in the future.

Venues in our community like Mohawk and Nutty Brown Ampitheatre in Austin, Hudson’s on Mercer Street in Dripping Springs, or Poodie’s Roadhouse in Spicewood provide some artists with what is often the only avenue for their music to be heard. American music legends that rose to fame once graced stages that are currently empty. They moved the young and old alike and inspired the next generation of artists with an outlet for personal expression.

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In order to give them a lifeline, I introduced the bipartisan Save Our Stages Act that will provide the resources needed for survival. It was an honor to join owners, promoters and artists alike at Billy Bob’s Texas yesterday to highlight the urgency of providing relief.

The bill provides $10 billion in grants for independent live music venues through the Small Business Administration. Grants include six months of financial support to help keep the venues afloat. They are eligible for the grants based on the lesser value of either 45% of gross revenue from 2019 or $12 million to cover rent, utilities, mortgages, taxes, PPE, and capital expenditures related to complying with the government’s social distancing mandates.

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Eligible recipients include owners, operators, producers and managers of venues with fewer than 500 full-time employees. I’m proud to have the support of world-renowned recording artists as we fight to ensure concertgoers can once again enjoy live music across Texas.

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Congressman Williams was joined at Friday’s press conference by Marty Travis, General Manager of Billy Bob’s Texas; Bob Jameson, CEO of Visit Fort Worth; Walter Kinzie, Founder and CEO of Encore Live; and Burleson, TX native and recording artist Casey Donahew.

I will continue working to ensure our Main Street businesses and industries like independent live music venues are able to once again drive our economy.

1.8 MILLION JOBS ADDED TO OUR ECONOMY

July’s Jobs Report was released this week and showed 1.8 million jobs were added to our economy nationwide as unemployment continues falling! Once again, the report beat expectations. I will continue fighting for pro-growth policies that will help Main Street America rebuild in the wake of COVID-19. These jobs numbers make clear that people across the country are returning to work, due in part to now expired unemployment benefits that paid workers more to stay home.

DELIVERING FOR TX-25

Touring Hillsboro Municipal Airport

I was proud to recently announce a $553,500 grant for maintenance repairs and improvements at the Hillsboro Municipal Airport. Ensuring our regional airports have the funding needed to improve and maintain infrastructure is crucial to serving our communities. I especially want to thank Mayor Andy Smith, EDC Administrator Art Mann and Hillsboro Municipal Airport Manager John Graham for taking the time to join us. I look forward to the airport’s many years of continued service.

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Congressman Williams tours the Hillsboro Municipal Airport

Relief for Public Housing Authorities

I’m proud to deliver coronavirus relief funding for the Burnet, Marble Falls, Austin and Killeen Housing Authorities so they can continue serving residents during the pandemic. Though TX-25 has already received much-needed relief, this funding under the CARES Act will allow Public Housing Authorities to meet the needs of their communities. I will keep fighting on behalf of Texans to encourage economic recovery whenever possible.

In God we trust,

Roger Williams

Member of Congress