Since COVID was first reported in the USA back in January of 2020 politicians have found reasons to unite and to blame the other side. As much as this pandemic has brought people together (while staying socially distanced), it has also driven a wedge between people based on politics. The same people who love how President Trump handled things are now left hating the actions President Biden has taken. The same can be said for the vice-versa side of the coin.
As we are about to hit the second anniversary of the first case being discovered here, politicians are finding another reason to unite – another stimulus package. While our economy is experiencing hyperinflation, many are finding themselves unable to make ends meet. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) in particular have been working together to lead this latest round of stimulus.
With a focus on businesses this time around, the Senators started working back in December on a $68 billion proposal per the Washington Post. The business industries being targeted include restaurants, performance venues, gyms, and even minor league sports teams. Given the ongoing pandemic, worsening conditions and the number of politicians shutting things down, these industries are looking at a very uncertain future.
They are not alone in this incredibly difficult venture though. As the Washington Post said “Cardin and Wicker have not yet finalized the business-focused measure, according to those familiar with their work, adding that the two lawmakers have huddled with members from both parties, including Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), in an attempt to build support. They may face an uphill battle in the narrowly divided chamber, where past attempts to provide aid for restaurants and other industries have faltered amid GOP concerns about adding to the federal deficit.”
With the current political divide, it is refreshing to see both sides working together towards a common goal. Out of all the industries altered by COVID, these businesses have had some of the deepest disruptions. Not being able to put on events impacts the pay of tons of people. It also impacts the progression and rhythm many have been making to grow an audience. For organizations like performance venues and minor league sports teams, they rely on three things to pack seats; word of mouth, consistency, and production of results.
COVID has thrown all of that off track. People cannot provide word of mouth to advertise when there are no events to talk about, and people are having to pull out due to the virus. There is no consistency of dates or results for people to get behind. The production of results is near impossible to guarantee either as there is no guarantee who will be competing or how consistently. While later 2021 became easier to get things going with, it wasn’t as consistent as it was in years prior.
Two major industries are being left off of being mentioned here – independent professional wrestling (aka indy wrestling) and independent combat sports organizations. Now mind you this doesn’t mean big organizations like UFC, Bellator, Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, Top Rank Boxing, or the WWE. These organizations have deep pockets and have all found ways to be productive. They could travel to open cities and states, rent empty arenas for the taping of bouts for TV, or an entire island for their events.
Local and smaller organizations like WXW in Minneola, FL, or Vigilant MMA in Tampa, FL found themselves closing down for months at a time due to the virus. This time away took away from the momentum their combatants were making on making a name for themselves. Their attendance and sponsorships are down as a direct result of COVID. Seeing liberals and conservatives coming together to fund hard-hit industries is a great thing. Hopefully, they remember to include the industries that aren’t making the headlines too.