More than 10,000 independent venues, talent representatives, promotors and others involved in the entertainment industry have received Shuttered Venue Operators Grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The program was designed to assist in the revival of the nation's cultural institutions which were the first to shut down during the beginning of the pandemic. The administration has awarded 7.5 billion in grants out of the 16 billion the federal government had set aside for the program last December.
New York Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer who has been avidly vouching for the grant program, said he's "so happy that the live entertainment and other cultural arts venues in New York and across the country are receiving this desperately needed financial aid,"
Adding, "these cultural institutions are the true heart and soul of New York, and I cannot wait to watch, listen and laugh as they bounce back bigger and better than ever, and I'll keep working with the SBA to get all of the program's assistance out the door as soon as possible to help all eligible venues recover."
Over the last seven weeks, the program has gone from awarding 100 to 10,000 grants, with more than two-thirds awarded to less than 10 employees according to the agency. As of July 26, over 15,400 applicants had been submitted for the grant program requesting a sum of $12 billion.
"America's small businesses can rest assured that the SBA will continue to work around the clock to provide the relief that is needed to revitalize local economies and build back better from the pandemic and economic crisis," SBA Administrator Isasbel Casilas said in a statement.
Businesses who qualifying would like to still apply for the program should have been in operation as of Feb.29. This includes: talent representatives, live venue operators or promoters, museum operators, live performing arts organization operators, motion picture theater operators (including owners) according to the official SBA site.