BY: JOEY REAMS
Whether or not you’re a fan of politics, this is something that everyone in the music industry can celebrate. Under the federal relief package within the Save Out Stages Act, owners and operators of music venues can now apply for financial relief grant, known as the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG). The Small Business Administration (SBA) intended to open this application process on April 8th but had to postpone due to their website crashing.
“We heard you, and we are taking action,” The SBA tweeted after having to delay again on April 23rd. “In response to stakeholder feedback about reopening the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application this weekend, the application portal will now reopen on Monday, April 26 at 12pm ET.”
This bill was passed last year as part of the federal government’s $900 billion stimulation package to further assist the U.S. during the pandemic, which greatly affected the music industry. The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) played a big role in this campaign and effectively helped lead its success. Once it was signed, nothing happened, and the bill was forgotten about until lawmakers asked of its whereabouts in February. Venue operators who are eligible for the SVOG grant can apply here.
“Simply put, this is emergency relief that can’t come too soon,” said NIVA communications director Audrey Fix Schaefer. “Every single day that passes, small businesses are receiving eviction notices, all the while $16 billion has been waiting for them. This is a lifeline for thousands of independent venues and promoters in big towns and in small communities across the nation. When you’ve had revenue losses of more than 90 percent and are in fear of going under, having the opportunity to apply for the grant is a relief, no matter what day of the week it is. We’re thankful our members won’t have to wait much longer.”