Funding from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program has begun to reach Broadway, as the Small Business Administration accelerates its efforts.
Among the few Broadway recipients so far, the Nederlander Organization and Jujamcyn Theaters have both been approved for $10 million grants, according to government funding data. As of Monday, the Small Business Administration had awarded 1,445 grants out of more than 14,000 applications.
A spokesperson for the Small Business Administration confirmed that the agency has set a goal of notifying 70% of applicants about awards by July 4.
The agency’s rollout of the program, which offers grant funding of up to $10 million, has been criticized for delays in awarding funding. After experiencing initial technical difficulties, the agency reopened applications on April 27, but did not begin sending out notices of awards until May 26. Awards have been trickling in since then.
On June 15, a group of senators, including co-sponsors of the grant legislation, Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex) sent a letter to the agency urging it to immediately begin distributing funds and to provide updates on its efforts.
The grant funding can be used to cover expenses including payroll costs, rent, mortgage payments and utilities and is seen as a means to help restart the Broadway industry. Eligible applicants include theater owners, producers, productions and talent representatives, as well as entities outside the theater world, including independent music venues, museums and zoos.
In New York, 195 organizations have received awards from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program so far.
Across the country, the awards have been distributed to 1,165 applicants in the first priority category — 90% revenue loss or more — 276 applicants in the second priority category and four in the third priority category.
Recipients in the theater space thus far have included concert venue 54 Below, the Nederlander-owned Broadway in Chicago and a handful of production offices, including Tom Kirdahy Productions and Aged in Wood LLC.
As previously reported, the majority of Broadway productions are expected to fall in the second priority category — a revenue loss of 70% or more— due to insurance proceeds received during the pandemic.