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‘Hang on just a little bit longer’: Venue owners waiting for federal grants to trickle down to save their businesses

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant will help many San Antonio venues avoid shutting their doors

SAN ANTONIO – Blayne Tucker, co-owner of The Mix, says the spirit of the Save Our Stages Act he helped draft, which then led to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, will help many business owners in need.

“The bill and the law was written and intended to benefit independent music venue operators. So if you’re in that industry, you know who you are,” Tucker said.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is set to begin taking in applications in February to distribute $15 billion in federal grants to bring relief to suffering business owners.

Those eligible include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives
  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements

In Bexar County, many businesses have received loans and grants, which has helped venues like The Lonesome Rose stay afloat, co-owner Garrett T. Capps said.

“We’re just happy that something’s happening. So information is being distributed as efficiently and quickly as possible, and we’re just kind of at the mercy of the process,” Capps said.

First priority will be given to those entities that suffered 90% or greater revenue loss between April 2020 to December 2020. Two weeks later, second priority will be available for those that suffered 70% or greater revenue loss.

“It’s really been the difference between the extinction of an industry and one that will survive in the future,” Tucker said.

Owners hope that venues that have been silent will return with new vibes and excitement. Blayne said it’s more than just music. It’s also boosting the economy.

“It’s beyond the cultural side of it, beyond the arts and entertainment. It has a huge economic impact on society, regardless of whether you step foot in a bar or a club. Those are economic engines and incubators and communities just like this all around the state,” Blayne said.

Blayne’s next project is to ensure venue owners across Texas get informed about the grant and take advantage of it. He urges those with questions to join the National Independent Venue Association or the Texas Music Office.

To learn more about the effect the pandemic has had on San Antonio’s performance venues, watch KSAT Explains: Save Our Stages here or in the video player below.


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