Almost one in five US music venues that applied for government funding to help with the impact of enforced closures have been rejected.
According to a Billboard report, almost $8 billion in funding was approved for around 10,400 venues, but a further near-3000 venues were rejected without any stated reason.
Spin Nightclub owner Daniel Maris was one of the owners denied funding and he told Billboard: “I spent 250 hours of my own manpower getting my documentation together, having to go through getting all the documents from promoters, getting all of our blueprints and all our schematics for the sound and lighting. It was just a lot of paperwork.”
Adding: “Our decline sent a big shockwave through the system because everyone was like, ‘If you’re not awarded, what in the world is going on here? You’re a venue through and through.’”
The lack of details regarding why some venues were rejected is apparently due to the decision-making process being expedited.
A representative of the US Small Business Administration told Billboard: “There is a balancing act we have to do. The level of specificity slows things down.
Further adding: “There are conversations we can have after we’ve seen the whole unit of declines once we’ve gotten through [all the applications that came in the first 60 days]. But often in grant programs, you don’t get a personalised reason for your declination.”
With many venues on the brink of closure, it is hoped that more clarity or an alternative arrangement can be reached soon.