Senator Jeff Merkley joined Portland Radio Project Executive Director Rebecca Webb for a virtual town hall, “Gig Out” to explain available federal aid for independent workers during the pandemic.

“We’ve developed an extensive package of programs to assist (workers and small businesses)… and I want to make sure you know where to go to get that information” Merkley explained.

Musicians and other self-employed creatives who work in the gig economy are scrambling to find relief amid the pandemic that has shuttered venues, restaurants, bars, theaters and coffee shops where they would ordinarily perform. Of the estimated 30,000+ recording musicians in Oregon, who have lost millions in canceled concert losses, most have not been covered by government relief packages until now. But, thanks in part to Senator Merkley, aid is now available to workers who usually fall through safety net cracks.

According to the Executive Director of MusicPortland, Meara McLaughlin, who also joined the live broadcast, nearly half of respondents to a recent MusicPortland survey will have lost 75-100% of their personal income by June 30.

Local artist Gil Assayas, aka GLASYS, appeared to provide the perspective of local working musicians who’ve lost their performance, and thus income, opportunities. And, he shared a new song.

For more information about the MusicPortland Survey, go to or click here.

Details of Senator Merkley’s Operation Main Street, and additional relief resources, visit or click here.

Thanks to the PRP team: Engineer Chris Arnesen; Editor Kent Randles; Graphics Asia Wagner; Social Media Support Asia Wagner and  Veronica Bisesti.


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