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Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Update: Don’t Forget To Apply Before Funds Run Out
Late last year, a bipartisan package brought the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) into existence, which benefited the beleaguered music community. Now, shuttered venues have the opportunity to collect on this provision—but time’s running out to do so.
Established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act, the program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the Small Business Association (SBA)’s Office of Disaster Assistance. The Recording Academy, its members and its music community allies jointly advocated for this measure since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown orders.
A perfect storm of technical issues may have delayed the initial rollout of the SVOG, but on Monday, April 26, its portal officially opened—and is still accepting applications. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that it has received 11,600 SVOG applications, but still has enough funding for more applicants.
Granted, the SBA has not yet released funds to approved entities, but the first round of recipients is expected to be announced within the month. In order to hold the SBA to account regarding its equitable fund disbursement and adherence to Congressional intent, the Recording Academy will continue to monitor the rollout as it continues into the summer of 2021.
For the triumph that the SVOG is, the grant is not a panacea for embattled venues. The benefit of this money is expected to be short-term, not long-term; even after receiving financial aid, chances are they’ll continue to struggle until nearly all concertgoers feel safe enough to pack into a club or theater again.
To engender comfort with the COVID-19 vaccines and encourage all Americans—music lover or not—to get their shots, the Academy recently partnered with the Health & Human Services (HHS) department to encourage the American public to get vaccinated.
As a founding partner of the Biden-Harris Administration’s “We Can Do This: Live” initiative, the Recording Academy is bridging the information gap between accredited experts—doctors, scientists and other health professionals—and the public. This way, all involved hope to assuage anxieties about inoculation and encouraging Americans to make the right decision for themselves and their families, which will put the music industry safely back on path with concerts, festivals, and tours.
Right now, the Recording Academy and HHS are working together on exciting creative programming and events as part of their partnership. Follow the Recording Academy on Twitter for updates and event opportunities. Until then, if what the SVOG offers applies to you, don’t hesitate to apply for funds while you still can, and before you know it music will be back in front of packed, and vaccinated, crowds.