U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Guzman Joins Spanberger in Henrico County to Discuss Support for Independent Venues, Small Businesses

The Congresswoman Successfully Secured Funding for Independent Venues in the December 2020 COVID-19 Relief Package

**Click Here for Photos from the Visit**

HENRICO, V.A. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger yesterday hosted U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabel Guzman in Henrico County to visit a local live music venue and discuss federal support for independent venues as these businesses reopen and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the visit to The Tin Pan in Henrico County, Administrator Guzman and Spanberger heard about their pandemic-related closure, the impact of federal support for live venues, and how Congress can continue to support live entertainment venue operators. Earlier this year, the owner and operator of The Tin Pan received a federal, tax-free grant as part of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program, which provides emergency assistance for eligible venues affected by COVID-19.

In March 2021, Spanberger voted to pass the American Rescue Plan, which provided an additional $1.25 billion to the SBA-run SVOG program. When the program launched in April of this year, it included more than $16 billion in grants for shuttered venues. The SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance administers the program, which has already provided more than $97 million in funding to live venue operators in Virginia.

“Central Virginia’s live music venues make our region a more vibrant and stronger place to live, and they provide a massive economic benefit to surrounding small businesses, hotels, and restaurants. But these independent music venues have faced tremendous financial stress during the pandemic,” said Spanberger. “Throughout the last year and a half, I have worked to secure the federal support necessary to help our local venues remain anchors of our region’s economy for years to come. I was glad to have SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman with us yesterday to ensure that the actions Congress has taken to support independent venues are implemented as best as they can be in Central Virginia.”

Spanberger also discussed with Guzman what additional support from Congress is necessary for the SBA to continue meeting the needs of small business owners in Central Virginia and across the country during this economic recovery period.

“It is inspiring to visit small businesses and important cultural venues like The Tin Pan who have worked so hard to adapt and survive after months of reduced operations, shutdowns, and uncertainty,” said Guzman. “I’m proud of the work SBA has done to revamp the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant program, and we will keep working to improve the approval process and help ensure equitable access. I want to thank Congresswoman Spanberger for joining me yesterday and for her partnership as we work together to help Richmond’s businesses build back better.”

BACKGROUND

Last year, Spanberger fought to include the Save Our Stages Act in the December 2020 COVID-19 relief package, which provided federal grants through the SBA to independent venue operators, in the December 2020 COVID-19 relief package. When signed into law on December 27, 2020, the package included $15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions through the SVOG program.

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