$16 Billion Federal Grant Program to Help Live Venues Impacted by COVID-19

ʻĪao Theater, Wailuku. (04.15. 2020) Gaylord Paul Garcia for Maui Now.

The Small Business Administration announced that a $16 billion program aimed at helping live event businesses impacted by the pandemic will begin accepting applications for grant funding beginning on Thursday, April 8.

The new SBA program, known as the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Fund (SVOG), was created through COVID-19 relief legislation passed by Congress and signed into law in December. 

“For museums, music venues, performing arts centers, independent movie theaters, and other live venues in Hawai‘i, help is here,” said US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This pandemic has been particularly brutal for businesses that depend on people being able to gather in person so this new funding will be a big help.”

Eligible grant recipients include live venue operators, promoters or theatrical producers, independent movie theatre operators, museum operators, and talent representatives. Of the total amount, $2 billion is set aside for eligible entities that employ fewer than 50 full-time employees.

You can access the application portal here.  

 Here are some steps you can take to prepare to apply:

  • Attend the SBA’s informational webinar on the application process from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.  Those interested in participating can register here. 
  • Review the SBA’s frequently asked questions and video tutorials for more information on applying for a grant. 
  • Register in the federal government’s System for Award Management (, as this is required for an entity to receive an SVOG.
  • Review the preliminary application checklist and eligibility requirements. 

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