The U.S. Small Business Administration is opening applications for its shuttered venue grant program today. 

Live performance venues that were shuttered by the COVID pandemic can now apply for billions in grant money from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Businesses can apply online here. The program is first come, first serve but priority will be given during the first two weeks to businesses which saw revenue losses upwards of 90% between April and December 2020. 

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program is support for operators of live music clubs, movie theaters, museums, performing arts organizations and other venues.

The program was established as part of the coronavirus recovery plan passed by Congress in late 2020, with $15 billion in funding. The recovery plan approved by Congress this spring appropriated an additional $1.25 billion, bringing the total amount of available funds to more than $16 billion.

At least $2 billion of the grant pool is set aside for companies with 50 employees or fewer. Applicants may be eligible up to $10 million or equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue. 

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“The SBA is committed to moving as quickly as possible to deliver this vital funding effectively and equitably ensuring relief goes to those venue operators whose revenues have been most impacted by the pandemic," said Isabella Casillas Guzman, SBA Administrator in a news release. 

An recorded information session about the program can be found here alongside frequently asked questions

Live music indoors has been returning to Louisiana in recent weeks as coronavirus related restrictions have been loosened across the state, even in New Orleans which was in a tighter lockdown for months. 

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