Tens of millions being distributed to Illinois music and leisure venues

Illinois music and leisure venues that closed their doorways as a result of pandemic are actually getting thousands and thousands in grant cash as a part of a federal program geared toward serving to preserve their doorways open.

Congress handed the $16 billion Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program to supply a lifeline to dwell efficiency and occasion venues, theaters and museums.

Rick Edgar, common supervisor of the Peoria Civic Middle, mentioned the venue acquired $2.5 million. He mentioned when the venue was pressured to shutdown, it brought about a ripple impact.

“After we closed, we simply didn’t lose jobs straight and lose our enterprise, eating places closed completely, resorts have shut down on this a part of the state,” Edgar mentioned.

At first, the SVOG program was affected by technical issues that delayed the applying course of. In June, two months after the applying course of opened, solely about 30 grants had been awarded. Now the cash is flowing.

Tens of millions of {dollars} have gone out to venues throughout Illinois. Shedd Aquarium, Brookfield Zoo, Discipline Museum, Artwork Institute, and the Second Metropolis Theater in Chicago all acquired $10 million with a number of different venues getting the identical.

The awards range broadly in dimension and have gone out all around the state. From $30,000 to the Galesburg Symphony society and $1.4 million to the Rialto Theatre in Joliet to $218,000 to a movie show advanced in Vandalia.

Abby Koester, president and CEO of the Youngsters’s Museum of Illinois in Decatur, mentioned the $110,000 in grant funds the museum acquired will likely be helpful as a result of the museum continues to be has not returned to regular operations.

“They’re getting used for our common working funds,” Koester mentioned. “Whereas we’re open, we’re nonetheless working at decrease than regular numbers.”

Some venues are questioning why they’ve been denied a SVOG grant. The Intercept reported , as of September 27, the Small Enterprise Administration has denied practically 30% of purposes. Whereas companies can attraction the SBA’s choice, the company doesn’t reveal the rationale for the denial, so the enterprise proprietor is left to determine it out.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Illinois, has launched laws in Washington that might lengthen the deadline for utilizing the SVOG funds till spring 2023.

“Many music venues and theaters have waited a very long time for the SBA to distribute grant funds, however bureaucratic delays have slowed the method of getting the funds out the door,” Davis mentioned. “With the grant program expiring in lower than three months and the pandemic nonetheless negatively impacting their trade, it’s vital that we lengthen this system’s deadline so venues can absolutely make the most of the grant funding.”

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