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Applications open for Save Our Stages grant to help venues recover

On Wednesday, Sen. John Cornyn joined local Austin venue owners, artists and entertainment staff at Antone’s Downtown Austin to highlight the new grant program.

AUSTIN, Texas — Venues that were affected by the coronavirus pandemic will now be able to apply for a federal grant that could help them recover a lot of their losses.

U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Amy Klobuchar announced that their bipartisan Save Our Stages Act to provide $16.2 billion in relief was signed into law in December.

Venues may begin applying for these grants on Thursday, April 8.

On Wednesday, Sen. Cornyn joined local Austin venue owners, artists and entertainment staff at Antone’s Downtown Austin to highlight the new grant program.

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The U.S. senator from Texas held a roundtable to hear how the pandemic has affected Austin’s live music industry and discuss how the Save Our Stage Act will help. He then toured Antone’s with owner Will Bridges before a press conference to announce the opening of grant applications on Thursday.

“In the Live Music Capital of the World, venues have been hit hard by the pandemic’s stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines,” Sen. Cornyn said in a statement. “Texas music venues were some of the first businesses to close, and they’ll likely be some of the last to open their doors.”

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant will be administered through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Businesses that operated on Jan. 1, 2019 can receive a grant equal to 45% of their 2019 gross revenue up to $10 million, whichever is less. 

Any business operating after that date will be eligible for the average monthly gross earned revenue for each full month in operation during 2019 multiplied by six, up to $10 million. 

However, all businesses must have opened by Feb. 29, 2020 or they do not qualify. 

In the first two weeks of the grant program, priority will go to businesses that lost 90% or more of their income due to the pandemic. 

The following two weeks will focus on businesses with 70% or greater losses, and so on. 

Some examples of how the money can be spent include: 

  • Payroll
  • Rent/ mortgage payments
  • Utilities
  • State and local taxes
  • Insurance

It cannot be used to buy new real estate, to pay loans taken out after Feb. 15, 2020, and to make any investments or loans, among other things.

Interested venue owners can apply here

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