Until further notice, the Small Business Administration (SBA) continues to pause the implementation of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG) application portal as the agency fixes technology problems and revises the accompanying grant guidance. The League of American Orchestras, along with the broader network of applicant stakeholders, met today with senior White House officials who confirmed that the SBA is looking to re-open the program as soon as possible-perhaps as early as the end of next week-as the agency continues to address both technical fixes as well as substantive corrections to the application guidance. The briefing was presented by Gene Sperling, who leads the implementation of the American Rescue Plan; Zach Butterworth, Director of Public Engagement at the White House; and Bharat Ramamurti, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. The SBA is not yet prepared to announce a specific date for re-opening as it is working to first ensure that the application portal is fully functional and that the grant guidance is complete, consistent, and in line with the intended purpose of this important relief program.

Here is an overview of the status:

  • The grant application process is on hold, and no applicant has successfully submitted an application.
  • The SBA has not yet announced when the application process will resume and intends to inform applicants in advance as to the date and time that the application process will re-open. The agency is also planning to provide applicants with the time needed to absorb new guidance and prepare application materials before the application process is relaunched.
  • A revised FAQ and applicant user guide are expected and will be posted to the SVOG website.
  • As the SBA fixes the technology platform, it will likely be necessary for applicants to resubmit application information that was entered into the system on April 8.
  • Applicants may continue to register for an account in the SVOG portal system.

The League of American Orchestras continues to partner with the Performing Arts Alliance and the broader arts sector to advocate for improvements to this and other forms of essential COVID-19 relief and will to keep you informed of any further updates. We are grateful for the Administration’s leadership and for the ongoing support for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program across many bipartisan members of Congress. 

The League also posts frequent updates in real-time on the League360 Disaster Relief discussion channel for members. Our League overview of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants program includes more links to SBA resources, and more information on the full array of federal relief options is available in the League’s Federal COVID-19 Relief Resource Center.

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