Help for Indies during COVID-19 Outbreak

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COVID-19

The fact that indie musicians are typically paid by the gig and not considered a regular employee has really made them vulnerable to the worst of the economic impact of the Corona Virus epidemic.  Due to social distancing, curfews, shelter-in-place, and lockdown directives from local authorities, most public events with decent size gatherings have been cancelled.  And with that, most musicians are losing what little income they typically survive on.

HavUHeard Radio strives to support the independent and unsigned musicians and so hopefully, we can use this platform to communicate a few pieces of good news to those of you who may need it.  First off, the Songwriters of North America (SONA) advocacy group has compiled a list of COVID-19 Emergency Resources including financial assistance funds and medical aid plans for those hurting in many different states.  See if a resource is near you at:  https://www.wearesona.com/emergency-resources .

Another good piece of news is that Congress didn't forget you.  The latest stimulus bill passed in response to the epidemic includes language making sure that "sole-proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed" are eligible for the grant and loan programs provided by the bill to help those affected.  This means you.  Some may even qualify for unemployment benefits now according to the New York Times ( https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-stimulus-package-questions-answers.html ):

Are gig workers, freelancers and independent contractors covered?

Yes, self-employed people are newly eligible for unemployment benefits.

Benefit amounts will be calculated based on previous income, using a formula from the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, according to a congressional aide.

Self-employed workers will also be eligible for the additional $600 weekly benefit provided by the federal government.

Hopefully, these resources will help you indie musicians to keep indie music alive through the COVID-19 epidemic.