Last month, the Small Business Administration was supposed to begin processing applications for financial relief for owners and operators of entertainment and concert venues as part of the aid package passed under the Save Our Stages Act. The application was due to open on April 8th but was delayed after the SBA web portal crash, leaving the owners of the venues in the lurch. It has now been announced that Shuttered Venue Operator Grant applications will go live on Saturday April 24th with a new web portal through which venue owners can apply.
“We have completed rigorous testing and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal will reopen on April 24th,” the SBA wrote in a tweet posted on Tuesday evening (April 22nd). “We will provide updated documents and instructions tomorrow. Interested applicants should register for an account in advance. “Venue operators who are eligible for the SVOG grant can apply here.
The SVOG program was adopted late last year after months of campaigning led by the National Independent Venue Association. In February lawmakers wrote to the SBA to ask why the applications weren’t open yet.
NIVA issued a new statement today after news broke through the new SBA portal. “Simply put, this is emergency relief that can’t come too soon,” said Audrey Fix Schaefer, NIVA board member and communications director. “Every single day that goes by small businesses they get evacuation notices while they have been waiting for $ 16 billion. This is a lifeline for thousands of independent venues and promoters in large cities and small communities across the country. If you’ve had more than a 90 percent loss of income and are afraid of going under, being able to apply for the grant no matter what day of the week is a relief is a relief. We are grateful that our members do not have to wait much longer. “