This previous summer marked the return to reside concert events and movie theaters for numerous of us. But, the pandemic produced sizeable economic hardships for these venues and several other individuals in the arts and amusement market. For example, in accordance to the Bureau of Labor Stats, the unemployment level for the industry achieved 47% in April 2020, and remained elevated into 2021.

To aid these organizations, Congress produced the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program, which delivered $14.6 billion in money assistance to amusement companies adversely impacted by COVID-19.

Today’s WatchBlog article seems to be at our new report on who the application served, and the lessons it presents for future emergency support plans.


Who been given income and how substantially?

SVOG funding was accessible to a focused group of organizations, like stay leisure producers, businesses, and venues. Companies could use these grants to include running costs this kind of as payroll, lease or mortgage loan payments, and utility payments. To be eligible for the application, enjoyment enterprises experienced to have lost at the very least 25% of their income as a end result of the pandemic.

The software was only open to applicants for a small amount of money of time—from April to August 2021. But during that quick time, far more than 17,000 businesses used. The Tiny Business Administration (SBA), which operates the program, awarded $14.6 billion in grants to around 13,000 of the candidates. Most denied purposes did not satisfy the grant program’s eligibility requirements.

Grant amounts were being centered on every business’s pre-pandemic profits, capped at $10 million. More than 90% of grant recipients have been small firms with 50 or less workforce.


How can SBA superior ensure unexpected emergency funding reaches suitable enterprises?

Nationwide, far more than 30 million modest businesses professional diminished revenues or closures simply because of COVID-19. Therefore, SBA experienced the obstacle of giving assist rapidly to entertainment venues. But performing promptly could make the software a lot more vulnerable to fraud and similar difficulties. 

We have noted on worries SBA faced implementing these courses, together with fraud and insufficient conversation.  

Our assessment of the SVOG system unveiled that although the software was improved managed in some aspects than some other SBA COVID aid systems, SBA could enhance its communications and client guidance, and strengthen its endeavours to observe risks to the system, this kind of as id theft.

In our new report, we created two recommendations to SBA that would aid improve communication with businesses that look for crisis help and increase the agency’s attempts to identify and tackle fraud. Find out a lot more by looking through our new report.

By Indana