We’ve been reluctant to jinx it, but after a disastrous non-launch earlier this month, the website for the Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Relief Grant (SVOG) was up and running at noon E.T. on Monday and in its first 24 hours, received more than 17,000 applications and submitted nearly half of them.
The website, also called a portal, is the way that independent concert venues and theaters, which have been closed for the better part of 13 months, can apply for their share of the $16 billion in federal relief aid passed into law by the Save Our Stages act.
A rep told Variety on Tuesday, “As of noon ET today (24 hours open), the SVOG portal had received 17,356 applications and, of those, 9,472 had been started and 7,884 had been submitted.” The rep added that further information is expected in the coming days.
Venues can apply for aid here. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/shuttered-venue-operators-grant
Last week, multiple senators and congresspeople sent a letter to SBA chief Isabella Guzman calling for the site to be reopened as soon as possible. Although the #SaveOurStages act was signed into law on Dec. 27, promising $16 billion in relief to those businesses, when the website through which venues could apply for relief finally opened on April 8, it immediately crashed. However, the SBA — which had never before launched a similar program on such a large scale — promised to address the issue as quickly as possible, and two and a half weeks later, they did.
A rep for the National Independent Venues Association did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment, but the organization has been patient yet persistent throughout the months-long process of successfully lobbying for the aid, only to see it delayed further by the website crash.