Davids Announces $12.2 Million in Federal Relief to Third District Venue Operators
Today, Representative Sharice Davids announced that the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program granted more than $12.2 million in pandemic relief aid to eligible venues, museums, and performing arts institutions in the Third District of Kansas. Davids voted to establish the program, which provides support to hard-hit businesses in the music and entertainment sector, and has been strongly advocating for venue owners throughout the program’s execution.
Davids took swift action to address early technical challenges that left many venue owners waiting for answers, joining over 200 bipartisan Members of Congress in calling for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to expedite the release of SVOG funds. This effort was successful, and SBA has now approved over 10,000 grants through the program, sending a total of $45.8 million to Kansas businesses.
“These venues are the heart and soul of our community, and I’m glad to announce $12.2 million of flexible funding from the American Rescue Plan has been awarded to help them keep their doors open and staff on payroll,” said Davids. “After more than a year of challenges, these hard-hit businesses need our support. I will continue to use my position on the Small Business Committee to advocate for targeted relief to our community and root out the fraud and abuse that only hurts struggling small business owners.”
Davids recently toured the Strawberry Hill Museum & Cultural Center in Kansas City, one of the recipients of SVOG funds in the Third District, to see how they plan to use the grant to continue serving the community.
“The funds from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program were vital for us to preserve the Museum’s historic buildings and remain open to share our heritage with future generations,” said Adrienne Nastav, President of the Strawberry Hill Ethnic Cultural Society. “We are grateful for Rep. Davids’ work to create this relief program and look forward to inviting the community back to the museum soon.”
Rep. Sharice Davids tours the Strawberry Hill Museum & Cultural Center, a recipient of a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, in Kansas City, KS
The SVOG program was established through the bipartisan COVID-19 relief package passed in December 2020. As a member of the House Small Business Committee, Davids helped secure additional funding for SVOG through the American Rescue Plan, to total over $16 billion in grants for shuttered venues to stay afloat. The American Rescue Plan also instituted a fix to ensure shuttered venues that received Paycheck Protection Program loans can also receive SVOG funds, as applying for both programs was previously prohibited.
Davids also recently visited with several local shops in Overland Park who received federal aid to hear their concerns, and announced last month that 165 businesses in the Third District received Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) relief aid through the American Rescue Plan. She has signed on to the RRF Replenishment Act, which would refill the heavily over-subscribed fund and ensure every small business receives the support they need.