On Monday, January 24, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) and House Small Business Committee Chair Nydia Velazquez (NY-07) sent a letter to the Small Business Administration (SBA) requesting the partnership of the agency to make improvements to the Shuttered Venue. Operator Grant Scheme (SVOG) to help companies facing continued disruption due to the widespread use of the Omicron variant.
By News Desk
SVOG, which has given grants to concert halls, theaters, museums and other businesses that host performances, has disbursed $14 billion in aid to small businesses. But there are $2 billion in unused funds left in the program, and recipients can’t use the grants for expenses incurred after Dec. 31, 2021. On Jan. 19, 2022, the House Small Business Committee held a hearing on “The Power, Peril and Promise of the Creative Economy”, during which small businesses testified to the need to adjust SVOG.
“Performing arts businesses were among the first to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be among the last to recover. Millions of these workers depend on businesses like theaters, cinemas, concert halls and other artistic venues for their livelihood,” Chu and Velazquez wrote. “But as witnesses at our January 19 hearing testified, workers and arts venues have again seen their economic recovery halted by the record wave of COVID-19 infections caused by the Omicron variant. Because program rules prevent recipients of initial SVOG grants from using the proceeds to cover expenses incurred after December 31, 2021, these businesses are left without tools to deal with the current crisis. Additionally, there is $2 billion of uncommitted funding remaining in the program that needs to be used to support these businesses as soon as possible. »
> The whole letter is available online.