Local 72-147 Addresses Economic Challenges of the Pandemic
Since March of 2020, the live music industry has been completely upturned by the COVID-19 Pandemic after more than a year of many employers and venues being nearly or completely shuttered. The rolling out of vaccines have allowed the industry to cautiously restart, but the Delta Variant along with other developments have created stumbling blocks to a full recovery. With AFM members struggling under these unprecedented conditions, Local 72-147 and all AFM locals across the United States and Canada have moved to respond with relief initiatives, special COVID negotiations, safety plans, job creation programs, and ongoing contract negotiations. As the Union has had more work to do than ever, Local 72-147 has faced internal economic challenges as well, on an unprecedented level.
Throughout the entirety of the crisis Local 72-147 has experienced unavoidable losses of revenue, with reductions in the collection of annual dues, work dues, and other revenue generating mechanisms affected by the pandemic. While enacting temporary policies to help members maintain their memberships, the Union cut expenses drastically to maintain operations, reducing staff size and temporarily reducing pay for all remaining personnel by at least 20%, and temporary eliminating other costs. In this way, operational losses were contained at a level of approximately $34,000.
But after the emergency establishment and fast-track capitalization of the DFW Musicians COVID-19 Relief Fund and paying necessary and critical operational expenses, the combined cash deficit added up to $100,426.66 for 2020. The Executive Board approached this with unanimous agreement that the use of the local’s reserves was necessary and justified to face the crisis, and developed a plan to manage the loss and recapitalize.
2021 brought with it some help, as the American Rescue Plan Act extended eligibility of PPP loans to unions. As soon as this eligibility was established, Local 72-147 made an application and obtained a forgivable loan from the SBA for $44, 248. While most of 2021 was affected by a reduction in revenue similar to that experienced in 2020, the PPP loan (forgiven on November 2) brought the local economic relief which had not been available the previous year.
Through continued efforts to operate on a reduced budget, Local 72-147 anticipates a near balanced operational budget this year. Plans are now in development to build back revenue and to re-establish initiatives in organizing, developing membership services, community outreach, and recruitment which were moving forward up until the Pandemic began.
Local 72-147 members may access the 2020 Financial Report by clicking HERE and logging into the members area of www.musiciansdfw.org.