Shuttered Venue Advocacy Groups are calling on Small Business Administration to resolve delays in awarding venues

Advocacy groups representing closed venue operators and other performing arts groups – including the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), League of Historic American Theaters, Performing Arts Managers and Agents Coalition (PAMAC) and more – issued a press release calling on the Small Business Administration (SBA) to resolve delays related to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program.

“The $ 16.1 billion SVOG program, which went into effect in December 2020, provides grants equal to 45% of gross revenues to eligible cinemas, live event operators and promoters, talent representatives and performing arts organizations in 2019, up to a maximum of $ 10 million, “the statement said. “Almost six months later, the repeated failures and delays of the SBA put the very companies and organizations for which the program was designed at risk. The SBA has now missed its June 9 deadline to grant funds to companies with losses of 90% or more and grants to the second tier of companies with losses of 70% or more. “

Venue operators have previously criticized the SBA’s slow response to SVOG applicants. As of June 3, only 50 companies had grants, with an indefinite number of those companies actually having access to the funds. According to the SBA, the number rose to 90 by June 9, with 4,661 applications currently being examined and 9,269 more still waiting to be examined.

“We couldn’t be more grateful that Congress allocated $ 16 billion to Save Our Stages, but this unsustainable wait for relief has been excruciating and damaging to our industry, our employees and our communities,” said NIVA Executive Director Rev. Moose. “With the changes in the White House and our Congressional Champions, we hope the SBA will make the grant without further delay.”

The New York Times reports that the SBA is handing over the reins of the SVOG program to its Office of Capital Access, which oversees the paycheck protection program and the restaurant revitalization fund. According to the Times, Patrick Kelley, deputy director of Capital Access, told industry groups on Thursday morning that the SBA was working to expedite the review process.

Pitchfork has reached out to representatives of the Small Business Administration for comment.

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