CALL US! (310) 443-4185

Author Archives: Gordon Firemark

A glimmer of good news for theatres, producers and other live-performance operators suffering during pandemic

Theatre owners, operators and producers are among those eligible for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program being administered by the Small Business Administration.

The program was created under The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues.

Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

This grant program cannot be used by a business that is receiving funds this year under the Paycheck Protection Program. It's either-or, so you'll want to talk with your tax and financial advisers before selecting which program under which to apply.

More information about the program and how to apply (when applications begin being accepted next month) available at: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/shuttered-venue-operators-grant

Need help? Schedule a consultation.

As the year nears a close, do these things to save money, time, hassle and risk.

First off, if you celebrate, let me wish you a Happy Hannukkah!

It's getting to be that time of year when we all sort of wrap up our work activities, and things start to slow down. 

That makes this a really good time to think about a few tasks that are best done before 2021 begins. 

The items below will save you money, time, hassles and legal risk, so think them over and let me know if you want some help getting them squared away.

1. Trademark Registration Fees Increase on January 1st.

So, if you've got a distinctive brand or title for your podcast, series, products, services, NOW is the best time to get the registration done. Preparing a trademark application properly does take a little bit of time, so act quickly… get your order in so you don't wind up paying more. More about Trademarks on the website here.​​

2. Register your DMCA Agent to preserve your “Safe Harbor” from copyright claims.If you operate an online service that allows visitors/users to submit content (even just comments and reviews), you'll need to implement a DMCA policy, and designate the person to whom complaints must be sent. If you do this correctly, it can save you from lawsuits. And best of all, you can do it yourself. The cost? A whopping $6. 

Click here to access the copyright office's DMCA Directory system where you can register. Prefer to have it done for you? As always, I'm glad to help you with this relatively easy and low-cost protection against copyright claims related to your online activities. If you have any questions, feel free to set up a quick call to discuss.

3. Get your (old and new) companies in orderFor some, this will mean closing up and dissolving older, unused 

corporations and LLCs . For others, just starting up, it means getting everything set for a January 2nd start date. I'm delighted to help with either task. Just reach out and let me know.​​

​4. Got a website? Get your customized Privacy Policy, Terms of Use and other site documents up to speed.

2021 will see some new, updated data privacy requirements implemented in California and Europe… so if your website has visitors from the Golden State or the EU, you'll need to make sure your website documents are in compliance. If your website documents weren't previously customized for your operations, it's necessary.  So let's take a look and see what kind of shape they're in.

This year, giving thanks is even more important!

Be Grateful, Give Thanks

Each year at this time, we give thanks for the people and experiences that have enriched our lives. But this year, with all that 2020 has dumped on us, I feel it's even more important to take time out to get in touch with gratitude and appreciation for the good things in our lives.

I hope you'll do the same, and share your feelings with friends and loved ones. It's remarkable how such a little thing can make you and them feel a little bit better. It's contagious. Viral, even (see what I did there?). This is the kind of thing that's WORTH spreading around. Let expressions of gratitude and thanks replace the hugs and kisses that we're missing out on this year.

Here are my thoughts on thankfulness and gratitude:

I'm grateful for:

  • My amazing wife for all she is and does
  • three incredible children. Strong of will, character and intellect, and full of joy and imagination. Watching them grow is one of life's greatest rewards!
  • Our 4 cats (Luke, Luna, Rue, and Pixie), and our dog, (Rosie)! for filling our house with unconditional love, attitude (cats, right?) chaos and fun.
Rosie
  • My father, from whom I'm still learning every day, even though he's been gone for 23 years.
  • My Mom, for everything. Just everything!
  • My sisters, brother-in-law, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
  • My friends, colleagues, co-workers and clients, and the opportunity to serve so many fun, interesting and creative people, in an industry an career I find simply fascinating.
  • The opportunity to share my knowledge, experience and what wisdom I've attained by teaching students from all walks of life.
  • The technology to make just about anything possible.
  • My early introduction to the field of online courses, memberships, distance-education. This has allowed me and my businesses to thrive through these very difficult times.
  • All of the abundance in my life
  • And most of all, I'm grateful for my health and that of my family, friends and loved ones.
  • Finally, I'm grateful for you, gentle reader!

I hope that you, too are healthy, happy, and able to find some things to be thankful for this holiday season. Please spread your gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Promoting your show with sweepstakes, contests and  lotteries

Promoting your show with sweepstakes, contests and lotteries

Running a contest or a giveaway is a brilliant, and cost-effective way to get your audience engaged and get fresh leads, drive lots of meaningful actions, Attract people to your content, get them to share it, and more.  But it’s important to exercise caution and make sure that you’re complying with the relevant laws. You… Continue Reading

Can (and should) producers use COVID-19 waivers from cast and crew to limit their liability?

Can (and should) producers use COVID-19 waivers from cast and crew to limit their liability?

The scenario An actor client today told me that she’s been asked to sign a document before coming to work on a new project. The waiver expresses all kinds of new protocols for minimizing disease transmission on and around the set, but then it goes on to include a waiver, stating that she understands that… Continue Reading

Achieve More, Better, Faster

As you know, I love to help creatives and business folk in all fields… film, tv, theatre, podcasting, online/digital business, or whatever, to forge their paths forward to bigger, better, accomplishments, as quickly as you can imagine. I do this through: One-on-one coaching (sign up for a discovery call to learn how this works​https://firemark.as.me/Discover) Group Coaching (click… Continue Reading

Resources to help during Covid-19 Crisis

(no, I don’t have a secret resource for T.P.) But here are a few useful links.: ​The Freelancer’s Guide to The CARES Act: New Funds and Benefits (from my friend and client Abbey Woodcock) ​What freelancers need to know about the coronavirus​ ​Where entertainment industry workers can go for help (LA Times) ​Financial Help for Hollywood workers (Variety.com)… Continue Reading

A new look at the old standard: “Force Majeure” clauses

With Covid-19/Coronavirus causing cancellation of events and transactions around the globe, people are naturally looking at whether they must still perform their contractual obligations and whether they are entitled to refunds of deposits and advance payments they’ve made. Most contracts do include a so-called “force majeure” clause as part of what’s usually considered the boilerplate.… Continue Reading

Has AB5 affected you yet?

Earlier today, I had a call from the HR director at one of the colleges where I teach one night a week. She called to tell me that I can no longer be classified as an independent contractor, and that under California’s new law, AB5, I must be treated as an employee. OK. No big… Continue Reading

Find us on Google+