ILDA is asking Florida-related Members — and this may be a lot of you — to write a personal, custom email to three staffers of Florida Senator Marco Rubio. It is not that hard and a personal email packs a lot more punch than filling out a form letter. Here's the background information you need:
Senator Rubio is a key person to assist our industry since he chairs the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. On July 27, he introduced Senate Bill 4321. This will provide additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding as part of the HEALS Act.
For any firms located in Florida, or who have done work in Florida (e.g., tours, events, theme parks) which generated Florida income and Florida jobs, your voice is much bigger than most. Who you are and what you have done in Florida is relevant to Rubio's staff and advisors.
It makes a big difference and we would be very grateful if you would write emails today, sent to the people below.
You can send one email with the three addressees, plus a "cc" copy to email@example.com.
Your message is simple.
Start with a sincere thank you for all he/ she has done to assist thus far. Thank the Senator for supporting the live events industry.
Explain you are one of America’s leading providers for lasers. Explain your activities in Florida. Naming "big names" that you have worked for helps a lot. It is one thing to be a laserist who goes to SELEM once a year. It is quite another if you have done laser shows for big name acts, or theme parks, or the Kennedy Space Center, etc.
Ask the person for the assistance in assuring the lasershow and live event industry that additional funding will be provided in August, and that it will last until 12/31/20.
The entire industry is dependent on this as we have been shut down by regulations.
Praise Senator Rubio’s bill S.4321. But also suggest these vital changes:
- As written, S.4321 only provides an additional 2.5 months, or 10 weeks, of payroll funding. There are 20 weeks left in 2020. The HEALS act needs to provide 5 months or 20 weeks of additional payroll funding.
- As written, S.4321 defines the base period for monthly payroll calculation as “during the 1-year period before the date on which the loan is made”. As 6 months of the defined timeframe contain almost no payroll, it is imperative that the calendar year 2019 be used as the base payroll year. Said another way, payroll should be based on when people were working — not on many of the months when they were not working.
- As written, S.4321 limits the second round of Paycheck Protection Program to $2 million dollars. This needs to be raised to $4 million or more to cover the needs of our industry. We are actually larger than the Senator may realize.
Here are the specific areas to be changed. Section 106 PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAMS SECOND DRAW LOANS
SECTION 106 (C)(i)(I)(aa) Delete existing language and add “the average total monthly payment for payroll costs incurred or paid by the eligible entity during the calendar year 2019; by”
SECTION 106 (C)(i)(I)(bb) Delete existing language and add “5.0; or”
SECTION 106 (C)(i)(II) Delete existing language and add “$4,000,000.” (Or more.)
Thank them profusely again and praise the Senator as well
Sign your name, title and phone / e-mail.
Writing this letter is not that hard. What would you say to the Senator's staff if they were in the room with you? If you were the Senator, what would you be impressed with (clients, # of employees, revenue, etc.)
Include some concrete examples of work done in Florida, and how that work has dried up. (For example: "Last year at this time we were doing three shows a week with four employees at each one. Since mid-March we have done no shows. That's over 4 months with absolutely no income for our company, and for our employees (five of whom are Florida residents).")
Finally, once you have done this, ask your employees and any others impacted by your company being shut down, to also write their own letters.
This needs to be done TODAY — please drop other things you can put off. This is being written on August 3 and already time is against us.
The Florida voices are very important.
Thank YOU for everything you do and please let ILDA know the reply you receive.