Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration is announcing a call to all eligible Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) applicants seeking economic aid for live entertainment small businesses, nonprofits, and venues. New applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. PT on Friday, Aug. 20. The SVOG program has so far awarded $8.4 billion in grants to more than 10,800 businesses to assist in getting the nation’s cultural institutions, which are critical to the economy and were among the first to shutter, back on track.
While the application portal will close to new applicants, the SBA will continue delivering economic aid to help venues recover by providing critical relief through the supplemental awards program. Late r this month the SBA will open the program for supplemental SVOGs for 50% of the original award amount, capped at a total of $10 million (initial and supplemental combined). Details will be announced at a later date. Additionally, to ensure no eligible venue is left behind, the SBA is currently accepting, by invitation, applications for reconsideration of award amounts and appeals. This rare opportunity gives applicants a chance to prove their eligibility and reverse a prior decision. SBA is committed to delivering relief to entertainment venues through these various options. Should the need arise, the SBA may reopen the portal or make other adjustments to its plan to best meet the needs of small businesses.
“After making much-needed improvements to this vital program, we’ve made swift progress getting more than $8 billion in funds into the hands of more than 10,800 performing arts venues and other related businesses – two-thirds of which employ less than 10 employees. These small businesses suffered disproportionate impacts from the pandemic and were often left out of early rounds of relief,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said. “However, we also know so many small businesses continue to struggle. That’s why, as this program nears the finish line, we’re providing additional funding options for our hardest-hit venues through our supplemental awards program, which will provide another critical lifeline to ensure businesses can reopen and stay open.”
“Simply stated, the Shuttered Venues Operator Grant was our lifeline. The grant has allowed us to return to full operation, including staffing and programming,” stated Michael Moran, President and CEO of The Palace, a theater in Stamford, CT. “In early 2020, we planned for closing just three or four weeks. As the pandemic continued to worsen, so did our fears of never reopening. The Palace closed for 15 months, with expenses continuing to accumulate against bleak revenue prospects. The SVOG grant through the SBA saved us and can be credited with not only our recovery but that of Stamford’s entire theater district.”
“Our theatrical community is so appreciative of the exceptional support of the SBA. The program and funds ensure the preservation of our community, allowing artists and audiences the unique experience of joy and enrichment through the arts,” Moran continued.
Since receiving the SVOG, The Palace and other venues have raised their curtains and welcomed back artists and audiences.
SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET to provide technical assistance with the SVOG application portal and can be reached at 1-800-659-2955 or, for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, at 1-800-877-8339. For additional information on SBA’s Economic Relief programs, visit COVID-19 relief options (sba.gov).
Further, SBA’s resource partners, including SCORE Mentors, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers, are available to provide entities with individual guidance on their applications. Applicants can find a local resource partner via a zip code search at http://www.sba.gov/local-assistance. For weekly SVOG funding data reports, visit www.sba.gov/svog.
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