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After Delays, Shuttered Venue Operator Grants Will Be Allocated Next Week

  • Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program set to begin distribution of $16.2 billion in funding
  • Distribution will begin with two 14-day priority periods for businesses with the worst revenue losses
  • Applicants express frustration due to lengthy delays in the program

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The U.S. Small Business Administration is planning to distribute funds through its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program next week, although applicants have expressed dismay at the lengthy delays involved in the program.

SVOG was established in December as part of the Economic Aid Act, with $16.2 billion made available to qualifying arts and cultural organizations through this legislation and the American Rescue Plan. Applicants can receive grants of up to 45 percent of their gross earned revenue, capped at $10 million.

  • After taking several months to set up the program, the application portal was closed on April 8, the same day it opened, due to technical difficulties; the portal reopened on April 26
  • The SBA has received more than 12,000 applications, with about three-quarters coming from live music venues
  • The program has also received a more recent delay, as grants were supposed to start rolling out last week
  • Funding distribution will begin with a 14-day priority period for venues suffering revenue losses of at least 90 percent, followed by another 14-day priority period for venues with revenue losses of 70 percent or more
  • Applicants have expressed frustrations due to difficulties in covering expenses and salaries while they work to reopen, as well as the slow pace of SVOG compared to the Paycheck Protection Program and Restaurant Revitalization Fund

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