Photo by Dino Perrucci
This past Monday, Apr. 26, the Small Business Administration (SBA) opened the application process for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG). The grant program makes “$16 billion in financial assistance available to eligible shuttered small businesses,” according to a press release from the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO).
The application portal had initially opened on Apr. 8; however, it quickly closed due to technical difficulties. Last week, SBA initially announced that the application portal would reopen on Saturday, Apr. 24. Eventually, due to concerns from SVOG applicants, SBA eventually settled on this past Monday for the opening.
“Well, that was harrowing. From April 8 to April 26, we were all swinging from a rope. Daily, a thread would break and finally, down to the very end… we made it. We got through,” said Frank Riley of High Road Touring, who serves on the NITO executive board, in a statement. “Once again, the camaraderie and support we have offered each other was manifest throughout the day, either on emails or by text, or just shouting out the window.”
“The most important part of this process is to get the applications submitted in a fair and equitable way,” added NITO Executive Board member Hank Sacks of Partisan arts I know that the SBA worked very hard towards that end.”
“After nearly 1 year of lobbying for much needed relief to the live concert industry, it felt like we could finally take a breath after hitting ‘submit’ on the SVOG application,” said board member Stormy Shepherd of Leave Home Booking. “We hope to see venues and small businesses back up and running, fully staffed as we move into this next phase. It is our hope that artists will have the opportunity to safely return to the stage and reunite with their fans once again.”