RELIEF UPDATE FOR SONGWRITERS AND THE SELF-EMPLOYED
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: NSAI does not provide legal advice and none of the below should be considered legal advice. This information is meant to be a general guide with no claim of full accuracy and is coming from a number of third-party resources. It should be treated as a starting point. There is no substitute for your own thorough research. DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK.
The video link below should help you navigate filling out a Tennessee unemployment application. Also, look at the website links at the bottom of the page for other information. Remember, unemployment is state-by-state.
The TN Dept. of Employment Security has released this helpful video tutorial for self-employed individuals applying for unemployment:
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
NSAI is beginning to hear from songwriters who have received forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
The PPP loans through the Small Business Administration have run out of money and the SBA is no longer taking applications. However, Congress is working on additional funding for this program. When PPP resumes, it will be on a first-come basis. WHEN THAT HAPPENS, APPLY IMMEDIATELY!
These loans come through participating SBA banks. You can search for participating banks online. Please note that these applications are not consistent. DO YOUR HOMEWORK--read a number of online articles, FAQs, blogs and posts from other self-employed individuals who have already filed to learn how to best navigate the applications and answer the questions. Be prepared with your most recent 1099 and tax forms.
DIRECT STIMULUS CHECKS
Checks of up to $1200 for single people earning under $99,000 or married couple (without children) earning under $198,000 will be sent. Those making $75k or less in earnings will get the maximum amount then the amount lowers for those making up to $99k. An additional $500 per child will be received.
Individual stimulus checks will be based on 2018 or 2019 tax returns. Those receiving social security, who don't need to file taxes, will also get a check.
Signing up for Direct Deposit with IRS gets you the money more quickly: https://www.irs.gov/refunds/get-your-refund-faster-tell-irs-to-direct-de...
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
Small business loan eligibility has been expanded to include self-employed, sole proprietors and independent contractors earning under $100k per year. These loans will be made through SBA approved banks and can be used to cover a number of things including health care benefits, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities. In many cases these loans may be eligible for complete or partial loan forgiveness.
See the SBA website for more details:
View SBA Lenders here:
The following NSAI partner banks are currently approved to make SBA 7(a) loans:
- Bank of America
- First Horizon
- Legends Bank
- Pinnacle Bank
- Regions Bank
- SunTrust Bank
- City National Bank
Others may be approved as this loan program expands and we will update as we learn of new partner banks providing these loans.
EIDL – ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS
The Cares Act expanded this loan program to allow for low-interest government-backed loans.
Apply through SBA. Visit their website here for more information.
PRESS RELEASE - MARCH 25, 2020
RELIEF FOR SELF-EMPLOYED SONGWRITERS, MUSICIANS AND SUPPORT TEAMS
Important Stimulus Bill Language Makes Them Eligible for Federal Relief
Nashville, Tenn. (March 25, 2020) - Songwriters, musicians, sound and light techs, road crews, producers and other self-employed music industry workers will be eligible for both grants and loans under the stimulus bill passed by the United States Senate today and expected to be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Many music industry professionals are not eligible for traditional unemployment benefits because they are self-employed,” said Bart Herbison, Executive Director of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI). “That’s why is was imperative that the federal stimulus package contain language that made them eligible for relief. Now they will be able to apply for immediate financial help for any income they’ve lost over the past few weeks and income they will lose throughout the rest of this year.”
Cong. Ted Deutch, (D-FL) Chairman of the “Songwriter’s Caucus” in the U.S. House of Representatives began a conversation with NSAI about this dilemma last week. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) authored language and had it included in the Senate stimulus package to ensure “sole-proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed” individuals were included in different grant and loan programs contained in the legislation including those in the PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM and the emergency ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (EIDL) grants.
“Music City was not built by high-powered businessmen, but by a fiercely talented community of independent singers, songwriters, and musicians who are now struggling to keep their heads above water. In this time of fear and uncertainty, it is important that we do not abandon these creators. With that in mind, I led a bipartisan team of advocates to ensure that all music industry professionals will benefit from the provisions of this rescue package. I thank the Nashville creative community for their resilience and am honored to weather the storm alongside such an extraordinary group of Tennesseans.” – Senator Marsha Blackburn
“As Congress intervenes to help Americans struggling from this national crisis, we know Americans will be impacted in different ways. Songwriters and so many in the music industry are self-employed; they’re gig workers, independent contractors, and sole proprietors. That’s why I worked with my colleagues and the creative community to ensure we include language in this economic stimulus package to help them weather the storm and qualify for relief. Music is helping so many of us cope right now; we need to help the people who create it.” -- Congressman Ted Deutch.
“We cannot overstate the importance of federal relief now being available for the music industry professionals who have already been devastated by the results of the Coronavirus. One of the first impacts was on the live music industry. Every venue in America has shut down. The situation has also hit studio musicians, producers, and others whose income has been affected,” Herbison said. “This inclusion will help these individuals weather the pandemic storm then go back to music-related work when a sense of normalcy returns to America.”
NSAI will act as a clearing house for information on how to apply for federal grants and loans. The bill sets an income eligibility limit of those making under $100,000 annually for some of the programs. There are other important provisions in the bill that will also help the industry. (Note: Under sections of the stimulus bill some self-employed may now be able to file for unemployment benefits depending on the state.)
“We will be making details available over the next few days on specifics of the various programs contained in the legislation. NSAI will help direct those eligible to the appropriate resources for relief,” Herbison added. “In some circumstances, relief funds won’t have to be repaid.”
Several Senate and House offices quickly supported the inclusion of the terminology that was made part of both the Senate and House versions of the bill. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was essential in having the critical terminology placed in the House bill. Advocates included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Jim Cooper, Martha Roby, Zoe Lofgren, Sens. Marco Rubio, John Kennedy, Diane Feinstein and others. Inclusion of the language in the different stimulus packages was an industry-wide effort with several groups playing vital roles.
“Live music events have been postponed and recording sessions and co-writes cancelled, but great compositions will fill venues once again,” noted Herbison. “Songs will help the world overcome the Coronavirus just as they have every human challenge for millennia. We are thankful for the assistance on behalf of songwriters, composers, musicians, producers, engineers, artists and others who will create and perform the future soundtrack for our nation and the world.”
Established in 1967, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) is the world's largest not-for-profit songwriters trade organization and has a membership of more than 5,000 spanning the United States and eight (8) foreign countries. Consisting of a body of creative minds, including songwriters from all genres of music, professional and aspiring, for over 52 years, NSAI has been committed to protecting the rights and future of the profession of songwriting, as well as carrying a commitment to educate, elevate and celebrate the songwriter, acting as a unifying force within the music community and the community at large. For more information, visit www.nashvillesongwriters.com