UPDATE 4.9.21: As the government prepared to start taking applications for a $16 billion relief fund for music clubs, theaters and other live event businesses, thousands of desperate applicants waited eagerly to submit their paperwork right at noon, when the system was scheduled to open. And then they waited. And waited. Five days later, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program’s portal remains down. No applications were processed. MORE INFO.


Nearly three months after the federal government passed a $900 billion stimulus that included the Save Our Stages Act, which provides $15 billion “in dedicated funding for live venues, indie movie theaters, and cultural institutions,” the agency tasked with doling out that relief has announced a timeline for doing so.

On April 8, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is set to begin accepting applications for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG), a program created to fund music venues with grants equal to 45 percent of their 2019 revenue for venues that can show they have lost more than 25% of revenue. 

That grants could bolster the 94941 sector most ravaged by the COVID-19 crisis: live music, theater and entertainment venues like the Sweetwater Music HallThrockmorton Theatre and Marin Theatre Company, which have been hit the hardest in the 94941 arts community. The program is among the countless ways that supporters can call for both private and public efforts to save the arts.

The application portal opens April 8, and the SBA is hosting a webinar on the application process from 11:30am-1pm on March 30

“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,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a statement. “This vital economic aid will provide a much-needed lifeline for live venues, museums, movie theaters and many more.”

As the New York Times reported last month, the list of eligible recipients is large, and the SBA has never run a major grant program. Its biggest pandemic relief effort, the $800 billion Paycheck Protection Program, was an extension of a long-running loan program, and even then it was plagued by confusion, complexity and inequities.

Here’s who is eligible, how to apply and how you can use the funds.
Here’s a helpful SVOG FAQ.

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