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Shaheen Applauds SBA’s Announcement to Open Applications for Shuttered Venue Operators Grants

**Starting April 8th, hard-hit performance venues can apply for essential economic relief through the SVOG program**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s announcement that it will begin accepting applications for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program starting April 8th. These grants will provide critical economic relief for music halls, movie theaters, performing arts centers and other venues who’ve struggled to stay afloat amid the pandemic. Shaheen recently visited The Music Hall in Portsmouth to host a virtual roundtable discussion on the $1.25 billion in new funding through the American Rescue Plan for the SVOG program.

“From live entertainment venues to museums and movie theatres, business owners across New Hampshire have faced unique hurdles during this pandemic, but the one thing they all share is the urgent need for help,” said Shaheen. “The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program will help our favorite local establishments keep their doors open amid unprecedented challenges, providing a critical lifeline for our local economies. I supported efforts during negotiations on the American Rescue Plan to increase funding for the SVOG program to make sure hard-hit industries get the economic relief they need as quickly as possible. New Hampshire’s cultural institutions deserve every resource to get to the other side of this crisis.”

The SVOG program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, which appropriated $15 billion for it. The American Rescue Plan Act, recently signed into law by President Joe Biden, appropriated an additional $1.25 billion, bringing the program funding to a total of $16.25 billion, with more than $16 billion allocated for grants.

Interested venues can explore the portal’s splash page to sign up for application updates, as well as register for a national informational webinar on March 30th to hear more about the application process.

Senator Shaheen is a member of the bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers that has steered negotiations of COVID-19 relief. The COVID-19 relief bill signed into law in December contained Shaheen-negotiated legislation that provided urgently needed assistance to American students, families, businesses, workers and health care providers impacted by the public health and economic crises. Senator Shaheen had a similar leadership role as a negotiator for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law last March and secured New Hampshire an initial $1.25 billion to assist with COVID-19 response efforts. Shaheen helped lead discussions on provisions in the CARES to assist small businesses and established the Paycheck Protection Program and expanded the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Both of these programs have been lifelines for businesses throughout New Hampshire and the country.