A new report from Billboard states that 20% of independent music venues received no federal assistance to keep their properties afloat during the height of the pandemic. There was a total of $8 billion distributed to just over 10,400 venues. The rest were denied without explanation.
The United States Small Business Administration received 15,429 applications for the Federal Shuttered Venue Operations grant. The grant was established after the creation of the #SaveOurStages movement which aimed to attract the government’s attention to the peril that these businesses were facing. The movement gained popularity after statistics were released in late October that 90% of independent music venues across the country were at risk of closing permanently, with an estimated 300 already shuttered before the end of 2020.
The Federal Shuttered Venue Operations grant was allocated $16 Billion to distribute to independent venues. Many venues were rejected without explanation or actionable recourse. When a venue received notice that they were rejected for funding, papers showed a generic “Eligibility matrix,” including “Common reasons an entity is found ineligible [for the grant].” As of now, the United States Small Business Administration has declined further comment.