Sinema, Kelly Urge Administration to Quickly Fix Shuttered Venue Operators Grant for Arizona Entertainment Businesses

Apr 21, 2021

Senators and bipartisan group of colleagues call on SBA Administrator to correct technical errors and quickly set up grant applications so Arizona employers can access needed coronavirus relief

WASHINGTON – Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly and a bipartisan group of Senators wrote to Isabella Guzman, Administrator of the Small Business Administration, urging her to quickly fix issues with the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program—established by recent COVID-relief legislation the Senators helped to pass.
Specifically, the Senators urged the Administrator to communicate with entertainment industry employers about the timeline of the rollout, and ensure all business owners have the resources needed to access coronavirus relief once the grant applications are ready.
“We worked across the aisle to pass our bipartisan Save Our Stages Act into law so Arizona employers in the entertainment industry—among the hardest hit by the pandemic—can stay afloat and keep Arizonans on payroll as part of a full economic recovery. I am calling on the SBA to immediately fix issues with the grant portal so Arizona employers can access overdue relief,” said Sinema.
“The Save Our Stages Act will protect Arizona jobs by helping independent venues stay afloat during the pandemic, that’s why I cosponsored it and worked to help pass it. My staff and I have been in touch with Arizona venues, and I’m concerned that every day that passes and this program is not up and running, more venue operators are forced to delay rent or payroll or even face closing for good. Congress did its job, now the Small Business Administration needs to do its job and get these issues fixed.” said Kelly

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant was established by the Sinema and Kelly-backed Save Our Stages law, which was signed into law as part of the December 2020 coronavirus relief legislation. The program provides $16.25 billion in assistance to employers in the entertainment industry, including independent clubs, theaters, concert halls, and movie theaters. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal was supposed to open on April 8th, but has faced technical glitches preventing businesses in need from accessing coronavirus relief.
Click HERE to read the letter.