During the COVID lockdown, many businesses are struggling to stay afloat. The music industry is particularly stressed during this difficult time.
Image Credit: LATF USA
Amoeba Records is a chain that has weathered on and off financial struggles throughout the years. Faced with the lockdown, they are not sure if they can make it through. They have recently launched a Go Fund Me campaign to try and gain financial support during the crisis.
Amoeba Records launched 30 years ago. It was founded by Dave Prinz and Marc Weinstein, two music lovers who had a crazy idea to open an independent music store with no corporate interests that would serve as a gathering place for the music community. The shop was dedicated to selling affordably priced records. It also served as a trading post where fans could buy and sell music. They have also hosted free live performances by big name artists in their locations throughout the years.
Amoeba has shops in Berkley, San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA and all locations are feeling the economic strain. They are hoping to raise $400,000 to stay afloat. At last look, the company had raised over $48,000.
Here is a quote taken directly from the owners on their Go Fund Me Page.
"We have weathered many storms-911, recessions, the Internet, downloading and streaming. But we don’t know that we can weather the COVID-19 storm. All three of our stores have been closed since mid-March and must remain closed indefinitely. With no way to generate income, our savings are running out, with bills and rent coming due, and with a primary commitment to our staff, who we are trying to keep as healthy and financially sound as possible... We know how much we’re all going to need Amoeba again, this oasis of music, where we can find each other once more."
They go on to mention that they are looking into every means possible to try and keep the business going. That includes federal and local grants. However, there is no guarantee that the money they get will be enough to support their overhead or to pay for their 400 plus staff members. They also mention that they were looking forward to moving to a new Hollywood location in the fall and that the funding raised would help support that endeavor.
“In closing, the owners leave with this sentiment, Though, we’re dark now, Amoeba is still there, waiting for the day when our doors can be opened again to welcome everyone back inside to celebrate the joy of what moves our souls the most: Music”
It would be a shame for the California music community to suffer such a devastating loss. It is hopeful that those in a position to give will be able to open their wallets and their hearts. Please support all your local record shops during this difficult time.