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We have covered many facets of the latest coronavirus relief package on this blog, but questions have been flowing in regarding grants and other funding opportunities that will be available. To begin to address this, we turn to our close friends and colleagues at Strategic Development Specialists, LLC. As experts in the grant writing field, Strategic Development Specialists has graciously provided the content for this post.

Since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our Nation’s most beloved stages have gone dark. While numerous industries have mustered a mid-pandemic revival, performing arts, Artists, and purveyors of entertainment have been, by and large, kept in the dark. The latest stimulus bill stands as a beacon of hope for many of the artistic and cultural institutions that define our country. Those who have been rallying to #SaveOurStages are preserving iconic America. And in doing so, other places we hold dear, such as your favorite local museum, may benefit.

Although it could take many weeks, or even months for the money to flow, $15 billion in relief has been appropriated to assist struggling arts venues. The funding is part of the latest $900 billion coronavirus relief package and is designed to help the cultural sector to survive after a nearly yearlong revenue drought.

The Save Our Stages Act allows independent entertainment businesses, like music venues and movie theaters, along with other cultural entities, like museums, to apply for grants from the Small Business Administration to support six months of payments to employees or for operating costs including rent, utilities, and maintenance. Applicants must have lost at least 25% of their revenue to qualify, and those that have lost more than 90% will be able to apply first, within the first two weeks of the program. During the next 14 days of the program, applicants that have lost more than 70% will be able to apply.

All applicants can seek support constituting 45% of their 2019 revenue up to $10 million. Applicants must have been in business on February 29, 2020 and commit to being open again if currently closed.

While there is light at the end of the tunnel with the beginning of vaccine distribution, it will still be quite a while before these businesses can fully swing back into action. By establishing this grant program, our Nation’s leaders have recognized the importance of arts, culture, and music not only as cultural icons in America, but also as drivers of economic development.

The Small Business Administration has been charged with coordinating and formulating policies for the administration of these grants and Strategic Development Specialists is actively monitoring for the roll-out of an application process.

If you have questions concerning the Save Our Stages Act, please reach out to Mark Wladis at (315) 445-1700 or by email at and he will connect you directly with our colleagues at Strategic Development Specialists.

Strategic Development Specialists is a New York State certified woman-owned business that specializes in navigating public funding vehicles and assisting clients in securing grant funding. Clients seeks out Strategic for its proven approach combining expertise in grant writing, business development, and government relations.