The Small Business Administration has announced that Shuttered Venue Operators Grant applications are expected to reopen at the end of next week, after failing to launch on April 8.
In a statement released Friday (April 16), the SBA said, “Over the next few days, our tech team and vendors will remain focused on testing the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal” and assured possible applicants that nothing will change over the weekend.
“We know this funding is urgently needed now and are doing all we can to reopen with the greatest amount of certainty as possible,” the statement continued.
The SBA said the vendors for the portal, which launched and quickly closed on April 8, have fixed the root cause of the technical difficulties but discovered additional issues while testing the site. The newly identified issues are being addressed now before the portal reopens later next week.
Independent venues, promoters and producers have been waiting to apply for the more than $16 billion in funds since the bill passed at the end of December, but the SBA was tasked with creating the program from scratch and has taken nearly four months to open the application process.
When the administration announced the opening date for the grant applications, they assured venues that funds would be awarded later in April. The SBA has not commented on whether or not that timeline has been interrupted by the delay.
“We realize this is an enormous undertaking for the SBA and we appreciate everything the agency is doing to ensure this program is administered as Congress intended as expeditiously as possible. The opening can’t come soon enough,” said the National Independent Venue Association in statement earlier this week.
In a letter sent to NIVA members today, the Association says it met with White House officials who “assured stakeholders that reopening the SVOG portal expediently and successfully was a top priority across the SBA.”
For more information on when the application portal will re-open, the SBA recommends independent venues follow the administration’s Twitter account.