A son hugs his mother as a concession worker hands over napkins and soda at the AMC Cinema in the Westfield Century City Shopping Center in Los Angeles, California on Monday, March 15, 2021.

Bing Guan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Small Business Administration announced on Friday that it will reopen an application portal for venues, cinemas and other performance groups on Saturday to apply for Covid grants.

The portal begins on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. (CET) with the acceptance of applications subject to availability.

The federal agency temporarily suspended the program known as the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant due to technical issues during its April 8 launch.

More than $ 16.2 billion has been allocated to keep entertainment venues, museums and performing arts organizations in business until in-person events can be safely resumed.

“We recognize the urgency and need to get this program up and running,” said Barb Carson, deputy associate administrator of the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance, in a press release.

To ensure a more seamless application process, the SBA has improved the security mechanisms in the application portal and added a waiting room function to counteract the large influx of interested applicants.

“With venue operators in danger of being shut down, every day that goes by is a day these companies can’t afford,” Carson said. “We continue to strive to provide emergency aid as soon as possible and will begin examining the applications submitted on Saturday.”