Shuttered Venue Operators Grant struggles with amount of applications

The paramount added social distancing measures to increase patron safety
The paramount added social distancing measures to increase patron safety(WVIR)
Updated: Apr. 11, 2021 at 8:05 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Shuttered Venues Operator Grant shed some hope to venues all around our area that have been completely shut down or forced to be limited in operation, but now these businesses are being forced to wait even longer.

“They got swamped with a number of applications,” The Small Business Development Center’s Greg McFetridge said.

He says the demand for the Shuttered Venues Operator Grant was so great the application portal couldn’t handle all of the requests.

“It’s designed to help the smaller movie theaters, museums, both for and nonprofit museums, any live venue events,” McFetridge said. “They’ve been shut down since last March or April so they’ve had zero revenue.”

He says with the amount of funding provided through the American Rescue Plan, some estimates say once the portal opens again the money could run out in six days.

“Congress is going to have to allocate more funds if they’re going to try to help more of these folks, but this is a lifeline that these small business owners, desperately,” he said.

The Paramount Theater is one of the businesses eligible for the grant.

“We feel like we see the light at the end of the tunnel and for the first time in a number of months we think it’s not a train so we’re very much looking forward to the fall,” Paramount Theater Executive Director Chris Eure said.

As far as the Jefferson Theater and the Southern, a spokesperson says they’re chomping at the bit to safely open as soon as possible with more confidence in a fall opening.

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