The Anthem Washington, DC venue pleading with the Small Business Administration to open up aid to closed independent venues.


The Small Business Administration plans to process most aid requests from its Shutter Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program by early July, Senator Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., Said Wednesday.

More than 14,000 small businesses across the country have applied for the grants, according to the SBA.

“I was encouraged to listen to a constructive discussion with the administrator today [Isabel] Guzman that SVOG has their full attention, the team implementing the program has been redesigned, the agency will work with applicants who simply had technical flaws, and that SBA will process most applications by early July, “said Hagerty in a press release.

“The actions and pledges I heard from the administrator today will hopefully give the troubled Tennessee venues more reassurance about the funds needed to rescue their operations,” added Hagerty.

The SBA did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comments on how quickly the applications would be processed.

The SBA’s $ 16 billion fund was created to support the industry until personal entertainment can resume. Music clubs, theaters, event organizers and others will have access to grants of up to $ 10 million as of 2019, based on their gross 2019 earnings. The program was included in the second Covid relief package, which was signed in December.

The application portal of the program was messed up by technical glitches. It started up for a couple of hours on April 8th before closing due to the no application issues. It reopened weeks later after an uproar over the delay, and companies rushed to resubmit their applications in hopes of securing a much-needed grant.

Thousands of companies are still waiting for their applications. By noon on Monday, the SBA reported that 1,445 grants totaling $ 833.4 million had been granted. The agency said in its weekly report that 7,118 applications are in the submitted phase and 5,853 are under consideration. The combined applications represent $ 11.6 billion in grants.

One of those companies that waited a long time to process his application was the North Park Theater in Buffalo, New York.

The venue – a local landmark – was awaiting a grant worth more than $ 200,000 when CNBC’s coverage of the SVOG program came out earlier this week. The theater received notification Tuesday that its application had been approved.

“This is the kind of place you want to see a movie – you will forget the outside world and flee for a few hours,” said Ray Barker, the theater’s program director. He has been with North Park since the 1990s when he started as a concession worker.