The Save Our Stages program gained supplemental funding from the recently passed stimulus package.
The American Rescue Plan earmarked an additional $1.25 billion for the Save Our Stages program, with $500,000 set aside for technical assistance around the grant application process. The Small Business Administration plans to open the application process in early April, according to a spokesperson.
This brings the total funding for Save Our Stages, also known as the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, to $16.25 billion. The program offers grants of up to $10 million to live venue operators, theatrical producers, promoters and talent representatives to cover expenses such as payroll costs, rent, mortgage payments and utilities.
A recent amendment to the program now allows potential grant recipients to apply for a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program and still be eligible to receive money through the Save Our Stages program. This may help bridge the gap for many independent venue owners who have been waiting for direct relief for months.
The grant program, which has been backed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), is also seen as a means of getting Broadway back on its feet after the pandemic.
“I’m hopeful that the support we passed in the American Rescue Plan will help our small businesses, our theatres and our music venues, our restaurants, to hold on until we can all gather safely once again,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday.
The American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law March 11, also included several relief measures applauded by the Broadway industry, including COBRA subsidies and an extension of unemployment benefits.
Save Our Stages was signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, as part of the previous coronavirus relief package.