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SBA Accelerates Work on SVOG Grants, Decision Made on More Than 50 Percent of Applications

  • U.S. Small Business Administration has made a decision on more than half of the 14,638 applications it received for its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program
  • The program was set up to assist arts and cultural organizations that suffered major revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 2,390 entities have received notice of an award, including 36 in Connecticut

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The U.S. Small Business Administration is accelerating its work on disbursing funds through its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, having made a decision on more than half of the submitted applications and reviewing another quarter.

The program was established to support arts and cultural organizations that suffered major revenue losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, with eligible recipients including live venues, movie theaters, performing arts organizations, and museums. Although $16.2 billion was appropriated for the SVOG program, the SBA received 14,638 applications requesting just $11.6 billion.

The program has received some criticism after it took months to establish and an application portal crashed due to technical issues and had to be shut down on the same day it opened to submissions. The latest report marks a quickening pace in the program from the start of the month, when just 50 grants had been awarded.

The SBA’s June 28 update on the SVOG program includes the following information:

  • The SBA has made a decision on 52 percent of applications, including 4,921 where a decision has been made but the applicant has not yet been notified, 2,390 applicants who have received notice of an award, and 227 applicants who have been turned down
  • 27 percent of applications, or 3,985, are in review while the remaining 21 percent, or 3,115, have not yet been reviewed
  • The SBA has currently awarded $1.5 billion with an average grant of $643,000, and $730 million of this funding has been disbursed
  • Live venue operators or promoters have received the majority of the awards so far, and entities with 50 or fewer employees have received $1.05 billion of the awarded funding
  • 36 entities in Connecticut have received grants totaling $14.46 million

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