ACTION ITEM RESOURCES

Resources and links to help you as you reach out for various initiatives.

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CURRENT ACTION ITEMS

Urgent action items-help us now!

 
SAVE OUR STOREFRONTS

 SUPPORT OF NYS Senate bill S.8865 / NYS Assembly bill A.10901

Button takes you to the Action Network platform. You will be asked to enter your return address and click to “Start Writing”.

Upon entering your address, your state representatives will be listed and the sample letter below will automatically load for you to send.

If you are a resident of New York state, please consider joining with the Costume Industry Coalition in lending support to the Save Our Storefronts bill. This legislation, sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, proposes a partnership between landlords and commercial tenants to save our businesses. Under this bill, many CIC members would see their rent reduced by two thirds! It’s no exaggeration to say this could make the difference between our businesses surviving or closing for good.

SAMPLE TEXT FOR SUPPORT OF

NYS Senate bill S.8865 / NYS Assembly bill A.10901

Small businesses are in a rent crisis. We need commercial rent relief now! 

I’m writing today because I support the small businesses that create, supply and care for custom costumes for stages and screens around the world.  These businesses employ hundreds of specialty artisans and skilled workers and are vital to the success and survival of the entertainment sector here in New York. Without these small businesses, entertainment and tourism cannot fully recover from the economic toll created by the pandemic.  

I invite you to co-sponsor S.8865/A.10901, a bill co-sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman sponsors and Assembly Member Harvey Epstein to provide commercial rent relief for COVID-19 impacted small businesses and nonprofit tenants and create a framework for sharing the burden of this crisis among tenants, landlords, and government.

According to the New York Times, over 3,000 small businesses in New York City have shut down permanently since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill recognizes the inability to pay rent as small businesses’ and nonprofits’ greatest existential threat.

Under the bill, a covered tenant with 25 or fewer employees that has suffered a demonstrable loss in income resulting from state mandated closures or restrictions would affirm its losses to the state Department of Financial Services (DFS). Upon verification by DFS, the covered tenant would pay its landlord the lesser of 20 percent of its actual income for that month or 1⁄3 of the contractual rent per month for 180 days past the end of the NYS on PAUSE period.

Landlords, in turn, would be required to waive 20 percent of the contractual rent for covered tenants. An impacted landlord would then be eligible to apply to DFS for funds to cover the difference between the rent paid by a covered tenant and the contractual rent minus 20 percent. $500 million in expected federal aid would be dedicated to the establishment of a DFS program providing relief to tenants and landlords.

I join with thousands of small business owners to support this urgent legislation.

DEAR SENATORS

AN OPEN LETTER
TO THE SENATORS OF THE 116TH U.S. CONGRESS

The Costume Industry Coalition is adding our voice to Be An Arts Hero open letter to the U.S. Senate. It’s time our senators understand the economic and cultural power of the entertainment industry. By clicking on the link, you’ll be taken to the Be An Arts Hero website. There you can add your name to the nearly 10,000 that have already signed up to support this call for recognition and relief. Be An #ArtsHero today!

ALBANY-TAKE ACTION

SUPPORT OF NY STATE BILLS S8473 and A10387

Button takes you to the Action Network platform. You will be asked to enter your return address and click to “Start Writing”.

Upon entering your address, your state representatives will be listed and the sample letter below will automatically load for you to send.

If you are a resident of New York, please consider lending  support to a pending bill in the New York State Legislature, S.8473/A10387. This bill, sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, proposes a moratorium on non-payment evictions of small business commercial tenants that lasts through six months following the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency, and our support could help encourage the Legislature to hold a vote on the bill.

Why is this bill important? Because along with arts and entertainment, the hundreds of New York commercial businesses that support the industry were among the first to shut down and we will be among the last to reopen. We are asking for a pause on evictions to give us time to figure a viable way forward during this unprecedented time.

SAMPLE TEXT FOR SUPPORT OF NY STATE BILLS

S8473 and A10387

As one of your constituents, I’d like to thank you for working on behalf of New Yorkers whose jobs were lost during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Thanks to your leadership, many of those jobs will return as New York recovers.

 

But the costume industry may not.

 

I am writing as a supporter of the Costume Industry Coalition (CIC), a group of NYC small businesses and artisans that create and supply costumes for the entertainment industry that came together amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  CIC Members transform a Costume Designer’s two dimensional designs into custom, one-of-a-kind costumes for theatre, dance, opera, concerts, theme parks, cruise ships, ice shows, live entertainments and on television and film worldwide.  With the entertainment industry shut down, CIC Members were forced to close their doors alongside many of their vendors, colleagues, and collaborators.  Hundreds of small businesses remain shuttered for the foreseeable future.

 

As you know, one out of every eight dollars of economic activity in the city — $110 billion in 2017 — can be traced directly or indirectly to entertainment, accounting for a whopping 13% of the city’s economic output. If the entertainment ecosystem--of which the CIC is a major part--does not survive, the economic impact will be catastrophic.

 

The CIC, along with their affiliated vendors primarily located in the historic Garment District, is asking you to support State Bill S8473 and Assembly Bill 10387, sponsored by Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblyman Harvey Epstein.  S8473/A10387 amend the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law to provide that no default in the payment of rent due or judgment of possession shall be entered against a tenant who is a small business between March 7, 2020 and a date six months after the expiration of the state disaster emergency.  This bill could make the difference between hundreds of local small businesses staying afloat or closing forever.  Without them, jobs that support hundreds of families, many of whom are immigrants, would be lost along with the millions of dollars they collectively inject into the local economy.

 

Please protect the costume industry, these families, and their contributions to New York’s cultural and economic recovery.  Pass S8473/A10387 and provide small businesses all over New York with the security they need to survive this pandemic. 


 
Thank you,

While NYC enters phase 4 of reopening, most entertainment and art institutions and the businesses that serve them continue to be shut down.  We were among the first to close and we will be the last to reopen.  Until there is a vaccine our businesses will not be able to open safely. 

Funding for the arts has never been as crucial in our lifetime.  We need to let our elected officials know that the arts and entertainment sectors are significant drivers of the U.S. economy we need help now to be able to continue when it’s safe. 
Be an arts hero by clicking the button button below. 
You'll be taken to The Action Network where we ask you to enter your return address and click "Start Writing".
Your Senators will be listed and a space to write a letter will be there. Below we have written sample text that supports the CIC. Copy and paste and add your own flair! After all, you ARE an arts hero!

SAMPLE TEXT FOR "BE AN ARTS HERO" LETTER

I am writing as a supporter of the Costume Industry Coalition (CIC), a group of over 50 NYC small businesses who build costumes for the entertainment industry that came together amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  With the entertainment industry shut down, CIC Members were forced to close their doors alongside many of their vendors, colleagues, and collaborators.  Hundreds of specialty artisans who create and supply costumes for the entertainment industry remain unemployed. 
 
As you know, the Arts & Culture sector employs 5.1 million people and provides $877 billion value added to the U.S. economy. It adds more value to the economy than transportation, agriculture, or tourism. The sector is a cornerstone of the larger U.S. economy, making up 4.5% of GDP.  Despite their out-sized cultural and economic contribution, the Arts & Culture sector of the U.S. economy is in grave danger.
 
I urge you to support any legislation which includes:

 

  • An extension and addition to the Paycheck Protection Program with increased program flexibility.

  • An extension of the CARES Act’s unemployment insurance provisions, including the $600.00 weekly supplement.

  • 100% COBRA premium subsidies through January 2021.

  • A second round of direct economic impact payments to individuals and families.

  • Billions of dollars committed to direct relief to Artists, Institutions, and all others who comprise the Arts & Culture economic ecosystem.

 
These are unprecedented and difficult times.  Without support, the Arts and Culture ecosystem will be devastated, negatively impacting the recovery of the U.S. economy.  I urge you to act now.  #BeAnArtsHero!
 
Thank you,

URGENT

HEROES ACT SUPPORT

As of Friday June 26, 2020, congressional gridlock is preventing the passage of vital assistance for people affected by the shutdown of the entertainment industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This legislation faces a difficult path through the Senate. 

1: Send a Letter To Congress

Our colleagues at IATSE have created an efficient way to send a letter to Congress in support of the HEROES Act.  Please click here to send a letter to Congress. Once you enter your information, you can copy/paste/edit the SAMPLE TEXT below that has language that supports the CIC. 

2: Ask Family and Friends —Especially Those Outside New York—

to Send a Letter to Congress

 

To pass the HEROES Act we must also gather support from Senators outside New York.  If you have family, friends or know anyone living outside New York and the tri-state area, please ask them to think of you and sign this letter or call their representative directly in support of the HEROES Act. Follow the same steps—after entering their personal information, they can copy/paste/edit the SAMPLE TEXT below to draft their letter.
 
Getting other Senators involved is critical, especially those in one of these states: North Carolina, Iowa, Tennessee, Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Colorado, Maine,  West Virginia, Utah, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Louisiana, Kansas, North Dakota, Nebraska, Arkansas, Alaska.   Without support from some of the Senators in these states the bill may not pass. Hardline Republicans may be swayed if their own constituents write.

These simple actions will help ensure that the Senate understands there is nationwide support for the HEROES Act and the true effect that this legislation will have on working people.

SAMPLE TEXT FOR HEROES ACT LETTERS

I am writing as a supporter of the Costume Industry Coalition, a group of over 50 NYC small businesses who build costumes for the entertainment industry that came together admist the COVID-19 pandemic. As of March 2020, The CIC employed hundreds of specialty craftspeople who create and supply costumes for the entertainment industry.

Since New York began its PAUSE the industries we contribute to have come to a complete halt, forcing us to close our doors alongside many of our vendors, colleagues, and collaborators.

To date the relief offered by the government has been helpful to our businesses and our employees. However, with the prospect that our industry may not return to full capacity until January 2021 more support is needed to avoid devastating consequences for our workers.

I urge you to support the passage of the HEROES Act which includes:


· An extension of the Paycheck Protection Program to all nonprofits and increased program
flexibility
· An extension of the CARES Act’s unemployment insurance provisions, including the $600.00
weekly supplement
· 100% COBRA premium subsidies through January 2021
· A second round of direct economic impact payments to individuals and families
· An additional $10 million added to the National Endowment of the Arts and direct funding to
cities and states

The HEROES Act provides support for our employees, businesses, and vendors. Extensions to
unemployment and payments to individuals will help our employees survive. The additional funding to cities, states and the National Endowment for the Arts will help make sure that the arts and entertainment industry can rebound without delay.

These are unprecedented and difficult times and we look forward to re-opening as soon as is practical. In the meantime, we are extremely concerned that our employees can return to their jobs when the time comes, healthy and safe. I strongly urge you to support the immediate passage of the HEROES Act.


Thank you,

(your name)

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