Venues still eligible for billions left in SBA grant money

Billions left in Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
Posted at 10:40 PM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 23:40:48-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For fifteen months the tables sat empty and the stage was mostly quiet at The 5 Spot in East Nashville.

"It's not just the owners who took a hit, but it was a trickle down effect," said Co-owner & General Manager, Travis Collinsworth. "All the employees were without work, [and] the artists that play at our venue." That’s one reason he applied for the Small Business Administration's Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. "We received it about a month ago and are currently utilizing it, yes," he said.

Congress set aside $16 billion for the program. It faced a bumpy rollout in April thanks to technical issues, but to date, applicants have requested $12 billion of the $16 billion- meaning there is still $4 billion up for grabs.

"My actual application with supporting documentation is, you know, an inch, inch and a half thick. So it took a while to compile all this stuff, put it together," said Collinsworth, holding up a folder of documents. He said although the process was time-consuming, it was clear to follow.

Theaters, live music venues, museums, and performing arts organizations are just some of those who could receive possibly up to $10 million in grant money. The SBA has made decisions on more than 85% of applications thus far.

"We now have more resources at our disposal to make sure that everyone is made a little more whole than they would have been," said Collinsworth.

Venues who've already received money but suffered a 70% loss of revenues may be eligible to dip into the $4 billion pot again for supplemental funding.

Collinsworth said it's something he plans to do.