WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — A group of organizations representing the live arts has joined the call for the Small Business Administration to immediately fund all Shuttered Venue Operator Grants for eligible entities and to resolve interagency issues that have presented barriers to funding for applicants.
In a joint statement, the arts organizations noted that it has been almost six months since the SVOG program was signed into law and that the SBA has now missed its June 9 deadline to grant funds to those businesses suffering 90% or more losses and to begin making grants to the second tier of businesses suffering 70% or more losses.
However, according to data from the SBA, of the almost 15,000 applications that have been received through the program, just 90 grants have been awarded as of June 9th.
Arts organizations participating in the joint statement include the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), the League of Historic American Theatres, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), National Independent Talent Organization (NITO), Performing Arts Managers and Agents Coalition (PAMAC), and the Performing Arts Alliance.
“The nationwide recovery of the live arts and entertainment ecosystem depends on the successful delivery of this vital federal relief. As the performing arts venues and organizations that are the fabric of communities across America, we are proud of collective efforts to fight for our survival, and we are rallying to cross the finish line,” said Lisa Richards Toney, President and CEO, Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP).
“We remain dismayed that the life raft given to our industry by Congress back in December has yet to be implemented,” said Ken Stein, President and CEO for the League of Historic American Theatres. “Just today we heard from a member theatre in North Carolina that funds won’t reach them in time to cover the costs of hiring back additional staff as they had planned. That one theatre means both jobs lost and, about $15 million in patron spending in a community that won’t be coming to local businesses who are hurting as well. This scenario is happening across the nation, and it did not need to be this way. The funds are there. They have been there for six months. They need to be disbursed.”