• February 8, 2023

Grant Application Portal For Pandemic-Struck Arts Venues Shuttered For Repair. : NPR

Live music venues like the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles were among the first to close during the pandemic. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant should be a lifeline for owners. Frazer Harrison / Getty Images hide subtitles

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Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Live music venues like the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles were among the first to close during the pandemic. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant should be a lifeline for owners.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

The Small Business Administration enthusiastically launched a long-awaited portal yesterday that would allow art venues closed by a pandemic to apply for grants to cover rent, utilities, insurance, and other accumulated expenses. The site went live at noon but was fraught with technical problems that the SBA decided to close the portal indefinitely.

“After working with our vendors to address them as soon as possible, the SBA temporarily blocked the portal and will reopen it as soon as possible to ensure all applicants have fair and equal access,” it said in a statement from the agency. “This decision was not made lightly because we understand the need to ensure that critical assistance gets to you as quickly as possible.”

UPDATE: We are working closely with our providers to resolve the identified technical issues with the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.

– SBA (@SBAgov) April 9, 2021

Anyone who tried to log in to apply for grants the first time they opened the portal encountered different error messages at each step. The SBA made it clear in a tweet that they have not accepted any proposals or distributed any funding.

Audrey Fix Schaefer is the communications director for the National Independent Venue Association, which is committed to helping small venues. She says the program is a lifeline. “We all want the SBA to provide urgently needed emergency relief as soon as possible.”

The SVOG is a $ 16 billion scholarship program established to help qualify live music venues, independent theaters, museums, and other live event spaces affected by pandemic shutdowns. It was passed with a bipartisan effort as part of the coronavirus relief package signed by President Trump in December. But it took them a long time to arrive: the agency said it was a unique program for them and they had to build it from scratch.

After a long wait, grants for closed venues will come in April

“Further delays to legitimate business owners are unacceptable,” Rep. Roger Williams said in one Explanation yesterday. “I urge the SBA to make SVOG a top priority and President Biden to bring qualified people in key positions to management positions so that similar mistakes do not occur in the future.”



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