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Regional News

Poll Finds $250M Loss For Mass. Cultural Businesses In Pandemic's 1st Month

A new survey indicates Massachusetts cultural businesses have lost more than $250,000,000 in revenue since mid-March. 

Seven hundred organizations replied to the Mass Cultural Council poll — the second it has conducted since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the region. 

More than half of the businesses reported layoffs and pay cuts affecting at least 15,000 jobs.   

Fifty-one cultural organizations don't pay into unemployment, according to the poll, and 25 affirmed they had a financial liability for their employees to receive unemployment assistance.

Steven Goldsher, who owns Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield, estimates the business lost $100,000 in the past month, with no ticket or beverage sales. 

“It’s lost revenue coming in the door, as well as we do a fair amount of private events,” he said. 

Steven Goldsher, owner of Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield, Massachusetts.
Credit Contributed / Greenfield Recorder / recorder.com
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Greenfield Recorder / recorder.com
Steven Goldsher, owner of Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Space has already been reserved for birthday parties, a memorial event and a prom, Goldsher said, then canceled because of the coronavirus.

Also lost for now: deposits made on several bands, booked to play at Hawks and Reed this spring.

Hawks and Reed employed seven people.

Goldsher, like many others, is applying for a federal business loan so he can get staff back on payroll, he said, and cover the utilities. 

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