The US Small Business Administration has used the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) to process and award grants to just 50 venue operators and performing arts companies since April, according to a report released by the SBA earlier today. As of mid-day on June 3, 13,783 grant applications had been received, meaning that the number of grants awarded totaled only 0.3%. 3,471 of the submitted applications are under review, while the remaining 10,262 are awaiting review. A total of $ 52.4 million in funds have been distributed to date.
The SBA has experienced numerous delays and incidents in the process of distributing funds to owners and operators of sites whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the pandemic. In March, US lawmakers sent a letter to the SBA inquiring about the delay in setting up a portal for SVOG, which became law in December 2020. The agency was initially scheduled to start accepting nominations SVOG on April 8, but was forced to postpone the launch until April 23 due to technical difficulties.
As the New York Times reports, some site operators say they have received notifications from the government that they are not eligible for financial aid because their names appear in the Death Master File: a list of deceased people kept by the Social Security Administration.
Pitchfork has reached out to SBA representatives for comment and more information.
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