Local DJ unsure how much new stimulus bill will help those in wedding and event industry

Within the $900 billion dollar coronavirus aid package is a re-invigoration of funds to the Paycheck Protection Program of almost $300 billion dollars.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Congress is poised to pass another round of Covid relief Monday night, which will include direct payments of $600, extended unemployment benefits, and increased funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.

It’s unclear just how long Rhode Island businesses will have to wait to receive that aid, but one business owner in the entertainment industry says he’s not sure how much the PPP funding will help people in his line of work.

Within the $900 billion dollar coronavirus aid package is a re-invigoration of funds to the Paycheck Protection Program of almost $300 billion dollars.

“It’s going to help but I know small businesses are struggling. Too many of them have already gone out of business,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “When so many of them are teetering it’s something that weighs on me quite heavily.”

With more PPP funding, small businesses will be able to use forgivable loans to pay for things like rent or utilities, and also to put employees on payroll. The issue for people in the event industry, however, is that there can’t really be events right now to be able to hire staff for them.

“There’s nothing going on for the next few months,” said Luke Renchan of Luke Renchan Entertainment. “Right now capacity is at 15 people so to have a wedding or event – people are just postponing.”

Renchan says it may also be difficult to hire people at all because of the extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits that are also part of the aid package.

“I think a lot of businesses right now don’t have employees, especially in our industry,” said Renchan.

In addition, Renchan says he doesn’t know anyone in his industry that has received the grant money they applied for during the state pause, leaving many strapped for cash.

He added that the PPP funding is a start, but he hopes there is more to come.

“It’s great to see that they’ve actually come together and put something out there,” said Renchan. “But I feel like right now, it’s small on the big scale of things.”

Members of the wedding industry, and other small businesses, will rally outside of the governor’s press conference tomorrow to ask for more help.

Some are also meeting with Commerce and the DBR Wednesday to discuss whether or not they’ll be able to increase capacity numbers at events anytime soon so they can begin to safely reopen.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Politics, Regional News, Rhode Island, US & World News