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Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal reopens after technical issues, delay

Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 9:14 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Relief is finally available to live venue operators, promoters, producers and other similar entities after the Small Business Administration reopened the application portal for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, which was closed when technical issues plagued it in early April.

“We were scrambling, anxious, but scrambling to get materials together,” Owner of the Cactus Theater Darryl Holland said. “It was frustrating when it didn’t open but we understood it’s a big program and a problem that we all have trying to survive.”

The SBA initially opened the application process on April 8th for the program that has more than $16 billion available in economic relief. It quickly closed due to “technical issues” and since then has undergone numerous fixes, according to the SBA:

  • Clarifying and making program documentation more user-friendly;
  • Improving application portal security mechanisms;
  • Adding an industry-standard waiting room technology to address the high interest in the program and provide an orderly application process for fair and smooth performance; and
  • Updating application features, including: a new revenue chart, the ability to upload multiple attachments, and an improved application flow to match the eligible entity types and their respective required documentation.

“It is important that people realize that the funding is there,” Emma Carrasco, a consultant at the Small Business Development Center said. “They are now trying to get it out in the most efficient manner they can that would benefit [venues] quickly.”

The SBDC is assisting venues at no cost, like the Cactus Theater, with the application process, which was reopened on April 26.

“We can give you directions,” Carrasco said. “We can give you guidance. We can give you up-to-date information and we can encourage you on what information is needed and not needed.”

Holland said during the time in which the portal was closed he connected with the SBDC. He calls their help invaluable.

“It’s been quite a whirlwind trying to be prepared, restore the theater, get the documents,” Holland said. “But, with all the guidance we’ve gotten, it’s been made a lot easier.”

Venues are advised to prepare documents and review the SBA application guidance ahead of starting the application.

If you’d like to request assistance from the Lubbock SBDC, click here.

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