Independent venues across the U.S. should expect the first round of Shuttered Venue Operators Grant funds to arrive in May, a representative for the Small Business Administration tells Billboard.
After a nearly three-week delay, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant reopened its application portal on Monday, allowing independent venues, promoters and other live music entities to apply for up to $10 million in federal relief. The SVOG was signed into law at the end of December through former-president Trump's second stimulus package and is set to provide more than $16 billion in much needed funding to businesses that have been entirely closed or severely reduced in operations for more than a year.
"Yes, the website worked, but the industry is still desperate and in need support now to survive. It’s been four and a half months since Congress came together on a bipartisan basis for emergency relief to save our stages," says National Independent Venue Association board member Audrey Fix Schaefer. "NIVA members applied for SVOG as soon as the portal reopened, but there's been no communication from the SBA, and no applications processed. We’re totally hamstrung until this money goes out because we can't rehire, book events, or put shows on sale. We need these applications reviewed and grants awarded ASAP. To give perspective, [Paycheck Protection Program] was funded in two days."