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Grant program offers $16B to concert, theater and music venues hurt by COVID-19

Avery Schneider

The pandemic’s impact has been felt particularly hard by the live music industry, but on Thursday, a grant program meant to help venue owners opened the application process for such relief.

The Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program will provide over $16 billion to closed venues. The grants will be equal to 45% of the business’ 2019 gross earned revenue for businesses that opened prior to 2019. The cap on the grant is $10 million.

Businesses that opened in 2019 or 2020 will follow a different formula to prove previous income. To qualify for the grant, the business has to have been in operation as of Feb. 29, 2020.

Eligible businesses include live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, performing arts organizations, talent representatives and movie theaters. Zoos, museums and aquariums who meet specific criteria are also eligible. 

The SBA also prioritizes businesses that saw the greatest losses during the pandemic. According to the SBA's website, businesses that lost 90% of revenue or more from last April through December will be considered first priority and be the first 14 days of grant awards.

To learn more and apply, click here.

Emyle Watkins is an investigative journalist covering disability for WBFO.
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