Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced it will begin sending invitations for supplemental awards for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. Per the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-profits and Venues Act, SVOG supplemental awards are to be provided to those who received an initial grant and have illustrated a 70% loss when comparing 2021’s first-quarter revenues to the same in 2019. Thus far, approximately $9 billion has been awarded in initial SVOGs to more than 11,500 venues, providing a critical lifeline for theaters, live venue spaces, and other entertainment and cultural hubs as they recover from the pandemic, re-open in many communities across the nation and continue contributing to local economies.
“The SBA has awarded approximately $9 billion in crucial relief to approximately 11,500 performing arts venues and other related businesses so they can continue to anchor our neighborhoods and define our communities. We know many of these businesses still need assistance to fully recover from the unanticipated expenses and debt caused by the pandemic,” SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program Director Matthew Stevens said. “These supplemental grants will go to the hardest-hit Shuttered Venue Operators Grant awardees to ensure they can get back on their feet and get back to the business of driving our nation’s economy.”
Supplemental award applicants can choose to apply for any amount up to 50% of their original SVOG amount, with a $10 million cap of the initial and supplemental awards combined, according to the law. The supplemental awards also allow SVOG recipients to extend the time to use their grant funds for expenses accrued through June 30, 2022 and lengthen their budget period to 18 months from the initial grant’s disbursement date. SVOG is one of the many programs that the SBA has facilitated during the pandemic that has provided more than $1 trillion in relief for America’s communities.
If sufficient funding is not available for all eligible entities to receive a supplemental award, priority will be given to applicants who have illustrated the greatest revenue loss in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter in 2019.
One such venue that the SVOG program was instrumental in saving is Tygart Valley Cinemas, which opened in 1979 and has been in the Carunchia family for two generations, with husband-wife duo Michael and Melissa now operating it. Marion County is very important to the family; the business employs nearly 20 residents and is dedicated to keeping ticket prices reasonable as they know the entire community has suffered during this crisis.
“If we had not received the grant, we would probably still be riding out the storm as we speak,” stated Co-Owner and Operator of Tygart Valley Cinemas, a theater in Fairmont, WV, Melissa Carunchia. “The stress of running a small business during COVID is very hard and life-consuming. We are grateful that we were awarded the grant and are confident it will get us through this difficult time.”
Carunchia continued, “Because of the grant, as business picks back up, we do not have to worry about buying the supplies we need or the cost of utilities. The main thing we have is peace of mind knowing that going forward we have a safety net.”