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Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Applications Will Open April 8

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The Paramount Theatre, photographed on March 15, 2021, displays a sign to mark the one year anniversary of the date the venue, which hosts concerts, plays, and other performances, closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Seattle.

On Friday (March 19), the Small Business Administration announced that applications for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant will open on April 8.

The SBA has set up a splash page for the application portal that will allow independent venues across the country apply for up to $10 million of the $15 billion in grant funding.  

“Help is here for venue operators hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBA has worked diligently to build the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program from the ground up to assist and address the diverse eligibility requirements of each type of applicant and we will open for applications on April 8,” SBA administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a release. Casillas Guzman was officially confirmed as the head of SBA just yesterday. “The SBA knows these venues are critical to America's economy and understands how hard they've been impacted, as they were among the first to shutter. This vital economic aid will provide a much-needed lifeline for live venues, museums, movie theatres and many more.” 

Prior to the official SVOG application opening, the SBA will host a national informational webinar to highlight the application process for potential eligible entities from 2:30 to 4 p.m. EST on March 30. Those interested in participating can register here. 

"We realize this is an enormous undertaking for the SBA and we appreciate everything the agency is doing to ensure this program is administered as Congress intended as expeditiously as possible," said the National Independent Venue Association in a statement. "The opening can’t come soon enough. The fate of our industry’s survival is dependent on it. To say we have been anxiously awaiting the day when we can apply for this emergency relief is an understatement."

The Shutter Venue Operators Grant was signed into law in December and provides $15 billion in federal grants to spaces that have been closed for over a year due to the pandemic. 

The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, appropriated an additional $1.25 billion, bringing the program funding to a total of $16.25 billion, with more than $16 billion allocated for grants. 

To ensure eligible venues do not miss a window to receive assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, the American Rescue Plan Act also amended the SVOG program so entities that apply for a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020, can also apply for an SVOG, with the eligible entity’s SVOG to be reduced by the PPP loan amount. The PPP loan applications have been updated to reflect this. 

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