SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — City officials announced Monday that the San Francisco Music and Entertainment Venue Recovery Fund will start accepting applications for grants starting this week.
The grants for at least $10,000 will be available to every eligible entertainment venue in San Francisco, which have in many cases been struggling through a full year of closure as a result of COVID-19.READ MORE: Police Officers Denied Service At San Francisco Restaurant Triggering Negative Reviews, Social Media Backlash
Mayor London Breed announced that the fund will begin accepting applications for grants on Wednesday, April 21. The fund was established to provide financial support to San Francisco-based live music and entertainment venues in order to prevent their permanent closure due to the pressures of the pandemic.
According to the release, the fund advances recommendations made by the city’s Economic Recovery Task Force to support the arts, culture, hospitality and entertainment sector. The fund is also aligned with San Francisco’s other efforts to support entertainment venues, including Mayor Breed’s $2.5 million in fee and tax relief for entertainment venues and the proposals to support arts and culture in the Mayor’s Small Business Recovery Act legislation.
“These music and entertainment venues are part of what makes San Francisco such a special place to live and visit,” Mayor Breed said in the release. “This past year has been devastating for the entertainment sector, and these local funds will help these businesses hang on until they can start operating again.”
Last month, the mayor and Supervisor Matt Haney agreed to allocate $3 million to the fund as part of $24.8 million for small business loans and grants in the current year surplus spending plan. The first round of grants will expend all $3 million in equal amounts to every venue eligible to receive funding. According to officials, grants will be at least $10,000 for each venue, although that amount will vary based on how many venues qualify for the program.READ MORE: Fog Advisory In Place Across Northern California
“Our independent music and nightlife venues have been hit hard over the last year, and desperately need the support that this fund will provide,” said Supervisor Matt Haney. “Nightlife and entertainment are cornerstones of our city’s economy and culture. As we reopen and recover, we need our city’s venues to not only survive, but to be even stronger.”
The fund is administered by San Francisco’s Office of Small Business, and was developed in consultation with stakeholders from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Entertainment Commission, the Small Business Commission, the San Francisco Venue Coalition, and the Independent Venue Alliance.
The fund is also available to receive donations from the public. Any private donations received before the first round of grants is issued will be distributed as part of that round. If additional money is added to the fund by the city or through donations after the first round of grants is issued, that money will be awarded in subsequent rounds of grants.
“Live music venues have not been able to be open for even a single day, at any capacity, for over a year. They have been among the hardest hit businesses in San Francisco, and as a result are hanging on by a thread,: said President of the San Francisco Small Business Commission Sharky Laguana. “Many have been forced to permanently close. Music is a central part of San Francisco’s identity and history, and speaking as a musician, I don’t want to even think about our City without our beloved venues.”
The deadline for grant applications is May 5. Venues eligible to receive funding must have held a Place of Entertainment permit from the Entertainment Commission prior to the start of the pandemic and must be able to demonstrate a track record of substantial live entertainment programming, among other eligibility criteria.MORE NEWS: Shoppers Welcome Heighten Police Presence In Downtown Walnut Creek
Venues interested in applying and members of the public interested in donating to the fund can learn more at sfosb.org/venuefund