Nearly four months have passed since the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) began accepting applications for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG). On Wednesday, the government agency announced the online portal will close on Friday, August 20th.
In December 2020, the U.S. Congress allocated $15 billion to the program as part of a COVID-19 relief bill. When the American Rescue Plan Act was passed in March, $1.25 billion more became available. In addition to venue operators, event organizers, talent representatives, and other arts professionals are eligible for the grants.
According to the SBA, the SVOG has paid out a $8.4 billion to over 10,800 institutions thus far with 333 applications still to be reviewed. A total of 15,900 applications for a total of $12.3 billion were submitted, however.
In July, the SBA announced that it will consider allocating the additional $4 billion still available to supplemental grants made available to the original SVOG recipients. Each grant would be 50% of the previously awarded total or $10 million – whichever is lower.
The SVOG program was included in last year’s COVID-19 relief bill due in no small part to lobbying by the National Independent Venue Association. It introduced the #SaveOurStages campaign in June 2020. The Save Our Stages Act inspired by the initiative was sponsored by Senators John Cornyn and Amy Klobuchar.
The SVOG application portal will remain open until 11:59 PM on August 20th on the Small Business Administration website. The agency intends to release more information on supplemental grants later in the month.