SBA Grant Portal for Shuttered Venues Halted by Technical Difficulties
The portal has been put on hold
In a blow to pandemic-battered theaters and event spaces that have been waiting more than a year for federal aid, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has temporarily halted a grant program that was expected to begin the process of disbursing $16 billion in relief funds yesterday due to technical difficulties with its online portal.
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, or SVOG, was authorized with the December stimulus package after thousands of venue owners rallied to convince lawmakers that existing coronavirus relief programs were not suiting their needs. The program allows venues—including performing arts spaces, movie theaters, museums and other event spaces—to apply for grants of up to $10 million. The portal was supposed to begin accepting applications at noon on Thursday, but it quickly became apparent to would-be applicants that something was amiss.
In a tweet, the SBA said, "After launching the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal, technical issues arose despite multiple successful tests. After working with our vendors to address the issues, the portal was shut down to ensure fair and equal access once it is reopened." Applicants may still continue to register for new accounts while the issues is being addressed.
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