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It's Prime Time for SBA's $16 Billion Live Events Grant Program--Finally

3 19 15

If you're a venue operator, promoter, or live-events producer, this is the moment you've been waiting for since the start of the pandemic, more than a year ago.

On April 8th, the Small Business Administration is expected to begin accepting applications for its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, or SVOG program, a $16.25 billion grant program run directly through the SBA. Eligible applicants may apply for grants equal to 45 percent of their gross earned revenue, up to a maximum of $10 million. SBA defines "earned revenue" or "gross earned revenue," as money received from the sale of goods or services, rather than, say, donations or sponsorship income.

It's not a minute too soon, says Michael Strickland, the founder and chair of Bandit Lites, a lighting design and installation company based in Knoxville, Tennessee. "By the time we get back to work, we will have been shut 94 weeks at a minimum. Totally shut. Not partially shut like a restaurant, totally shut." Strickland says he helped craft an earlier bill that served as the inspiration for the SVOG program.

Strickland says he sees the program, buttressing the nation's entertainment infrastructure, as a worthy cause. And it's long overdue, although he would have liked to have seen it incorporate businesses that service live events, as well as entertainers.

Strickland had expected the program to launch on February 22--45 work-week days after the program was first authorized........

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