Rep. Johnson secures more than $540,000 in COVID-19 Relief Dollars to Save Local Venues and Create Jobs

July 28, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) announced today that four venues in his district will receive more than $542,000 in Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG).

The four venues receiving funds are:

•        A.R.T. Station in Stone Mountain: $61,609

•        Onstage Atlanta in Scottdale: $84,521

•        J.D. Entertainment, LLC in Covington: $391,798

•        Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts in Conyers: $4,291.

“The American Rescue Plan created the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program to provide critical funding to our struggling businesses and they deserve to be able to access those funds,” said Rep. Johnson. “I am glad the Small Business Administration heeded our call to improve and expedite the approval process, so this critical aid for our businesses will arrive sooner. These local businesses not only create good jobs and contribute to our local economy but also contribute to the spirit and local culture of our community.”

“The ART Station (Stone Mountain) is so grateful to the Shuttered Venues Grant we received from the SBA,” said David Thomas, President & Artistic Director, ART Station. “These funds are instrumental to ART Station as they will be used to assist with the reopening of our art center and theatre company.”

As a part of the American Rescue Plan, Congressman Johnson voted to establish the SVOG program, which provides support to hard-hit businesses in the music and entertainment sector that were forced to shut their doors due to pandemic restrictions.

The program was initially plagued by technical challenges, which have since been greatly improved.

Rep. Johnson secured those improvements by joining more than 200 bipartisan Members of Congress in calling for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to expedite the release of funds. This effort was successful, and the SBA has now approved nearly 10,000 grants across the country.

 

How the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants works:

The SBA opened the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal in April of 2021 for operators of live venues, including:

  • Live venue promoters, theatrical producers, and talent representatives

  • Live performing arts organizations

  • Movie theatres

    Entities that had to shutter (SHUT) their doors a year ago in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible. This was for venues that promoted or booked concerts, plays, dance performances, movie premieres, museum exhibits, etc.

    For those who are talent representatives, at least 70 percent of operations must involve managing or representing performers, who must be booked at live events and paid based on ticket sales or entrance fees.

    All qualifying applicants must have been fully operational as of February 29, 2020.   

    For more information on SVOG applications, visit: https://www.svograntportal.sba.gov/s/       

     

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