ULEIA hopes state subsidies will help to revive the beleaguered industry

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The Utah Live Event Industry Association (ULEIA) has presented a proposal to Utah legislators, asking for their help in reallocating monies to benefit struggling industry enterprises.

The Association, which is made up of local company owners and employees, is requesting that state funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 be used to support the live events industry.

“The events sector is one of the few that hasn’t yet emerged from the mud,” said Shawn Taylor of Taylor Audio Visual, who also chairs the ULEIA’s Legislative and State Government Affairs Committee. “We’re the people in black behind the scenes who produce the magic that no one notices.”

With Sundance’s in-person cancellation, Taylor claims he and his company are missing out yet again.

“The events business employs a lot of families in Utah, and there are a lot of individuals who are hurting on the ground,” Taylor said. “The $50,000 is my biggest anxiety about missing out on Sundance. I was going to make a wage payment. I’m concerned about my employees’ well-being, their families, and their ability to pay their mortgages.”

ULEIA anticipates that some of the cash will be transferred to the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, which will administer the funds to local businesses in need, through the legislative process.

Mark Gallegos, owner of Mammoth Audio Visual for more than 30 years, said, “2020 was nonexistent for me. I was at 96 percent lost income.” “I put a heloc on my house as well; you know, I didn’t get a cent of the grant money from Utah, and it just ran out so soon.”

The association expects that the monies will be utilised to help businesses by putting them into a large programme to cover ongoing operations, rent, and debt accumulated during the pandemic. They also want to use the money to pay employees and keep them working during these difficult times.

“We should be loading in the Sundance film festival this week, but we aren’t,” Taylor explained. “The loss of that one event cost my company roughly $100,000, and the immediate consequences are that I now have a dozen people who were anticipating a $5,000 paycheck but won’t be getting it.”

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