(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) announced that New Hampshire venues have started receiving federal funds through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) Program. The delegation worked to establish this program in the emergency COVID-19 relief legislation that was passed by Congress and signed into law last December to provide grants for live venues, independent movie theaters and other Granite State cultural institutions. To date, New Hampshire venues have been awarded $23,627,910 from the SVOG program.
This funding will reach at least 52 live venues across the state as part of a $16.25 billion grant program nationwide to assist venues that can demonstrate a revenue loss of at least 25 percent due to the pandemic. The Small Business Administration’s full list of SVOG award recipients is available here.
“Live venues and cultural institutions were crushed by the pandemic – with forced closures and shrinking attendance causing devastating financial fallout. I’m pleased to welcome millions in funding for New Hampshire through the Shuttered Venue Operations Grant program – which I helped establish to provide a lifeline for our favorite local establishments,” said Shaheen. “Especially as the highly contagious Delta variant ripples through our communities, our live venues deserve every resource possible to keep their doors open.”
“New Hampshire’s art and entertainment venues play a vital role in our economy and culture, yet they have been incredibly hard hit economically by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hassan. “These much-needed federal grants will help our theatres, museums, and concert halls recover stronger than ever. I will continue to help Granite State small businesses that still need access to this critical assistance, and I look forward to seeing the arts continue to bring people together across the state.”
“Our Granite State communities and economy are made stronger by our incredible live theater and music venues,” said Kuster. “As we continue to recover from the toll of COVID-19, this funding from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program will help keep employees on staff and give our performance industry some much-needed breathing room. I was proud to help secure this funding, and I will continue advocating for New Hampshire businesses in Congress.”
“New Hampshire’s entertainment venues were hit incredibly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they face an uncertain future,” said Pappas. “Shuttered Venue Operators Grants provide a vital lifeline to help not only our live venues, independent movie theater, and other cultural spaces, but also the businesses that rely on them like restaurants, shops, and bars, to recover and move forward. I heard from countless venues in my district about the need for help, and I was a proud co-sponsor of the underlying legislation in the House and worked to pass this in the emergency COVID-19 relief package in December 2020. I remain committed to ensuring New Hampshire small businesses continue to get the resources they need.”
As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen worked to establish new SBA grants for shuttered live venues, independent movie theaters and other cultural institutions. Shaheen and Hassan are both cosponsors of the Save Our Stages Act. Through the Save Our Stages Act and the Entertainments New Credit Opportunity for Relief and Economic Sustainability (ENCORES) Act, Shaheen has prioritized efforts to help this important sector of the state’s economy recoup some of the losses they have experienced due to canceled events.
Shaheen, also a senior member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, has worked to provide small businesses with the resources they need to weather and recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. She helped lead negotiations on provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was signed into law last March to assist small businesses, whichestablished the Paycheck Protection Program.. To date, over 41,000 New Hampshire small businesses and non-profits have received over $3.7 billion in PPP assistance.
The American Rescue Plan includes the bipartisan Recovery Startup Assistance Act that Senator Hassan introduced to provide payroll assistance through the Employee Retention Tax Credit to new small businesses started during the pandemic. Furthermore, the December COVID-19 relief and government funding package included bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Hassan to allow eligible small employers to both participate in the Paycheck Protection Program and also claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit to help keep workers on payroll and pay for their health care coverage. Previously, small employers could not participate in both of these programs.