- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
A month after movie theater and live-event venue operators complained about a delay, the Small Business Administration has approved over 43 percent of applications for grants aimed at providing relief to movie theaters and live-entertainment businesses that had to close their doors during the pandemic.
6,610 of 15,026 applicants to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program have been notified that they will be awarded grants, while 5,902 applications have been decided on but applicants have not yet been notified, the SBA said Monday in a report on the program. “SBA can confirm that just over 43 percent of shuttered venue operators grant applications have been approved,” a spokesperson for the Administration said. “As noted in the report a total of 86 percent of applications have had a decision made on them and will include additional awards, which reflects the team’s dedicated effort to get these applications processed and quickly get money out to businesses in need.”
440 grant applications were declined, while 1,694 are in review and the SBA has not yet started review on 380 applications, the agency says in its report. The average grant awarded so far is $758,000. $3.3 billion has been disbursed so far, and over $696 million is going to businesses in California.
Last month, a coalition of entertainment groups including the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP), the League of Historic American Theatres, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and others claimed that the SBA had only announced 90 grants awarded while thousands were eligible for the first round of funding. “The pandemic is easing, capacity restrictions on movie theaters are being lifted, major movies are being widely released, but hundreds of movie theater companies cannot open until they have rehired their employees, paid their vendors and their rent,” NATO president and CEO John Fithian said in a statement at the time, adding, “The SBA is actively damaging the companies they were supposed to help. That must end now.”
In response to the SBA’s latest data about the grants, Patrick Corcoran, vp and chief communications officer of NATO, said in a statement, “While we are pleased with the improved progress thus far, we remain extremely concerned about the pending applicants with 90 percent revenue loss who haven’t received an answer from SBA. Theaters can’t hold on for much longer under these circumstances.”
Those eligible for grants include live venue operators or promoters, live performing arts organizations operators, talent reps, movie theater operators, museum operators and theatrical producers. The first round of grants are reserved for businesses that suffered a 90 precent loss or more in revenue as a result of the pandemic; the second round is for businesses that saw a 70 precent or greater loss while businesses with a 25 percent or more loss are third priority.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day