Among the industries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the arts and entertainment sector rests close to the top of the list. Though many performing groups pivoted to virtual concerts and productions, this did little for the thousands of small performance venues that shuttered during the shutdown orders. Many will not reopen.
Congress chose to set up a $16 billion fund for performing venues through the Small Business Administration as part of the second national stimulus package passed in December. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant could act as a lifeline for these spaces. But the grants have yet to be disbursed. The application portal has been plagued by technical issues.