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Dec 15, 2020

At Hearing on Future of Live Entertainment, Tester Urges Support for Montana’s Independent Music Venues

Senator: “We’ve got to come together, and we’ve got to help the economy”

At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the future of live entertainment today, U.S. Senator Jon Tester heard testimony on the dire circumstances facing independent music venues in Montana and across the country and urged support for his bills aimed at helping music venues survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Tester slammed Congress for failing to provide relief to music venues, many of which are at risk of going out of business due to the pandemic.

“I don’t know if you guys are frustrated because we continue not to do anything, but it frustrates the hell out of me,” Tester said. “You guys are sitting out there, you’ve been impacted by something you don’t have any control over…but you’re getting submarined by this damn coronavirus.”

Noting that live music is an economic multiplier –$1 in ticket sales generates $12 for the local economy – Tester urged Congress to pass his measures aimed at supporting live music venues, including his Entertainments New Credit Opportunity for Relief & Economic Sustainability (ENCORES) Act, a bill that will create a new 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, and the bipartisan Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in Twenty-twenty (RESTART) Act which would create a long-term, partially forgivable loan program that targets small- and mid-sized businesses devastated by the public health crisis.

Tester is also a sponsor of the bipartisan Save Our Stages Act, which would provide Small Business Administration grants for independent music venue operators to keep venues afloat, pay employees, and preserve a critical economic sector for communities across Montana.

“I’m going to continue to make sure that we get these bills across the finish line,” Tester said. “…in the end, we’ve got to come together, and we’ve got to help the economy.”

Tester’s full Q&A is available HERE.

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


208 North Montana Avenue
Suite 104
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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