In December, the American Congress approved a $15 billion fund for helping support cultural venues including night clubs through the COVID pandemic lockdown which means they can’t hold events.
This news was well received with the owner of Minneapolis’s First Avenue club telling the New York Times: “This is what our industry needs to make it through.”
The Small Business Administration is in charge of overseeing the fund and will decide which eligible recipients receive relief. Shuttered Venues Operators Grant is the official name for the initiative, and it allows eligible businesses to apply for 45% of their gross earnings of revenue.
Grants are capped at $10 million per successful application, and $2 billion of the funds available are reserved specifically for larger venues with up to 50 full-time employees.
The Small Business Administration has not been in charge of a major grant program before, so some critics are skeptical of the process of deciding who gets awarded grants, but this doesn’t detract from how much this scheme is needed for struggling venues that need a lifeline for their business to survive.
It has not yet been decided when the program for venues will begin, but it is expected that rules and guidelines will be announced within a matter of days.
A spokeswoman for the Small Business Administration spoke with the New York Times and told them that the agency is “building the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program from the ground floor and setting up front-end protections to ensure these vital grants are delivered to those the law intended to assist.”
The spokeswoman did not comment on how long the fund is expected to last. So, when they are released there could be a race to receive funding.
H/T: The New York Times