After initially announcing that Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) applications would open on April 24th, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has moved the opening to Monday, April 26th at 12 p.m. ET. This news comes over four months after the SVOG (formerly known as the Save Our Stages Act) was signed into law on December 27th, 2020, allocating $16 billion for venues across the United States.
Back on April 8th, the SBA finally opened the application process as thousands of business owners across the country continued to accrue debt as a result of the live music shutdown. Unfortunately, the Administration’s website was not equipped to handle the level of traffic brought in by the applications and the site soon crashed. Two weeks later, the SBA had still not announced a new date for when applications would reopen, prompting 164 bipartisan members of Congress to send a letter to the Administration urging immediate reopening of the application process.
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Last Thursday, the SBA announced that SVOG applications would reopen on Saturday. Though this appeared to be welcome news on the surface, it was quickly met with immediate criticism by those observing Shabbat, in addition to parents who would need to find childcare as they waded through the dense process.
“We heard you and we are taking action. In response to stakeholder feedback about reopening the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application this weekend, the application portal will now reopen on Monday, April 26 at 12pm ET,” the SBA wrote in a tweet on Friday.
The Small Business Administration will reopen Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) applications Monday at 12 p.m. ET here. The government agency noted that it has fixed the bugs that caused the initial application site to crash.
“Simply put, this is emergency relief that can’t come too soon,” Audrey Fix Schaefer, board member and communications director at the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), said in a statement. “Every single day that passes small business [sic] are receiving eviction notices, all the while $16 billion has been waiting for them. This is a lifeline for thousands of independent venues and promoters in big towns and in small communities across the nation. When you’ve had revenue losses for more than 90 percent and are in fear of going under, having the opportunity to apply for the grant is a relief, no matter what day of the week it is. We’re thankful our members won’t have to wait much longer.”