In a call with SVOG stakeholders on Monday (May 24), the SBA stated that it intend to distribute the first round of awards by the end of May. SVOG awards will come from the $16 billion in federal funding signed into law on Dec. 27 through the second stimulus package; venues, promoters, talent agencies and other cultural institutions are eligible to receive up to $10 million based on their 2020 revenue loss. The grant program was built from scratch by the SBA, an administration that had never solely distributed funds to for-profit entities.
“No doubt there have been significant hurdles in this program. We remain frustrated. It’s been a trying task to ask NITO membership to be patient and attempt to remain calm. A very long five months have come and gone since long-awaited business-saving legislation passed at the end of December 2020,” says National Independent Talent Organization vp Nadia Prescher. “Technical difficulties have only added to the stressful uncertainty that SVOG applicants are feeling. However, those assigned to the SVOG at the SBA have made promises that award notices will begin by the end of May. On the call today, the SBA again restated their commitment to this deadline and we are attempting to remain hopeful.”