The Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill on Wednesday to aid struggling businesses and boost the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. It awaits passage by the House and President Trump’s signature.
The National Association of Theater Owners is confident the bill will aid movie theaters, which have closed across the US, leaving thousands of theater employees out of work.
Included in the bill are provisions such as expanded unemployment benefits and a $454 billion loan guarantee.
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The Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill late Wednesday night to help boost the economy as the coronavirus pandemic forces businesses to close and furlough employees across the US. It awaits passage by the House and President Trump’s signature.
Even movie theaters, which have never faced a nationwide shutdown — even during World War II or after the 9/11 terror attacks — have closed throughout the country. Thousands of theater employees are out of work.
The National Association of Theater Owners, which represents 150,000 theater employees, is optimistic that the stimulus package will aid struggling movie theaters and that they’ll reopen once coronavirus concerns dissipate.
“With this aid, movie theaters can get through this crisis confident in being able to re-open, knowing their vital, trained workforce is able to weather this pandemic and have jobs waiting for them when it is safe to reopen,” NATO said in a statement.
Included in the bill are provisions that could benefit theaters, including:
A $454 billion loan guarantee for struggling businesses
Deferral of payroll taxes
Tax credits to keep employees on payroll despite being closed
Expanded unemployment benefits
Theater employees are already struggling because of the shutdown.
Business Insider spoke to some Alamo Drafthouse Cinema employees who were disappointed in how the company was assisting employees after its locations closed. Employees at franchise locations are encouraged to apply for unemployment, while Alamo has opened a $2 million relief fund for employees at corporate-based locations.
Hollywood, too, is feeling the effects of the coronavirus. With theaters closed, the box office has halted and productions have temporarily shut down. Studios have delayed movies and released others which were new to theaters early on premium video-on-demand services.
Read Business Insider’s full story on the effects of the closures on Alamo Drafthouse Cinema employees:
Some furloughed Alamo Drafthouse employees are upset with how the company is treating them and say the chain’s actions undercut its stated values like ‘doing the right thing’
SEE ALSO: New movies are coming to digital platforms early for $20 each, but it’s a short-term solution that won’t disrupt theaters
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Source:: Business Insider