Touring

Shuttered Venue Grant Applications to Resume Over the Weekend

Steve Jennings/Getty Images

The marquee is seen at the Warfield music venue, which is temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, on April 10, 2020 in San Francisco, Calif.

The Small Business Administration will reopen the application portal for the Shuttered Venue Operator Grants program this Saturday, the organization announced on Thursday (April 22). The portal has been down since April 8 when it failed to launch.

News of the Saturday date dew criticism from struggling venue owners over the short notice given and since local government, lawyers, accountants needed for the complex applications will likely not be available on the weekend.

"We have completed rigorous testing and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal will reopen on April 24," the SBA  announced on Twitter at 9 p.m. EST on Thursday. "We will provide updated documents and guidance tomorrow. Interested applicants should register for an account in advance."

The link to the portal is svograntportal.sba.gov.

Since the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant was passed in late December, the SBA has been tasked with creating the program and processes from scratch. Andrea Roebker, a regional communications director at the SBA, told Billboard in March that while the SBA was able to distribute Paycheck Protection Program loans soon after the CARES Act passed in March 2020, those were handled by delegated bankers, and the venue grants program is a “different animal,” noting that this is the first time the department has created a grant process focused on for-profit entities.

While the news is likely a relief for struggling venue owners who have waited nearly four months for access to $15 billion in federal funding, the fact that the SBA was relaunching the application process on a Saturday did not go over well on Twitter.