Fee waivers, grants to help live music clubs in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans is waiving some of the fees that bars with live music must pay in 2021.
That’s one of multiple steps city officials outlined this past week to help music venues bounce back from the economic hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic. The city has been loosening some virus-related restrictions on such venues and live music — with limited attendance — has been returning to some venues.
The waiver announced by New Orleans’ economic development director Jeffrey Schwartz applies to alcoholic beverage permit fees and other fees that music venues normally are required to pay. Schwartz said it would affect about 150 businesses.
“It goes without saying that music is the lifeblood of our city,” Schwartz said during a Thursday news conference at The Howlin’ Wolf music club.
Schwartz and Mayor LaToya Cantrell discussed other steps the city is taking to help such venues bounce back from the pandemic, including getting operators ready to apply for aid under the new Shuttered Venue Operator Grants federal program.
“We do not want any music venue or live performance venue in the city to miss out on these funds,” Schwartz said, noting a city website created to help operators apply.