ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A brand new $15 billion U.S. Small Enterprise Administration program concentrating on closed theaters and leisure venues is sort of able to launch, however some in New Mexico’s leisure trade are nervous they received’t be included.
“On the finish of the day, the individuals who come and make the live performance occur, they’re not going to see a cent of that,” stated Daniel Chavez, proprietor of Revel and occasion providers firm NRG in Albuquerque.
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, which was a part of the federal stimulus invoice signed into legislation in December, permits eligible candidates – together with live performance venues, theaters, aquariums and museums – to use for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned income, as much as $10 million. Of that whole, $2 billion is put aside for operators with 50 staff or fewer, in response to the SBA.
John Garcia, district director for New Mexico’s SBA workplace, stated the aim of this system is to assist venues, a lot of which have been shuttered because the COVID-19 pandemic started and are ineligible for different applications, keep afloat till it’s secure to re-open.
“I believe this opens up that window of alternative for them,” Garcia stated.
Nevertheless, Chavez and different folks within the trade say this system, as presently constructed, leaves out the impartial manufacturing employees, together with roadies, stagehands and lighting and sound engineers, who’re wanted to placed on exhibits within the first place.
“Any of these corporations which have poured their coronary heart and soul into this trade are gonna be left by the wayside,” Chavez stated.
In keeping with the present steering from the SBA, operators with out a fastened efficiency area shall be ineligible.
However they nonetheless play an enormous half in producing stay occasions. Nena Ugarte, accounting comptroller for Quickbeam Methods, an occasion manufacturing firm based mostly in Albuquerque, stated many venues in New Mexico that aren’t affiliated with a college don’t have the in-house gear or employees to placed on a live performance with out working with contractors to deal with the lights, sounds and different components.
“You may’t have a live performance round right here with out folks like us,” Ugarte stated.
Ugarte stated she doesn’t begrudge venue operators their inclusion in this system, however stated she wish to see the cash assist these working behind the scenes as nicely. She stated Quickbeam’s income has dropped by about 80% because the pandemic started.
“I simply don’t suppose it’s proper that we’re getting reduce out,” she stated.
Garcia stated the SBA has not but dedicated to a launch date, and even operators who possible qualify for this system are getting impatient.
Mark Travis, co-owner of The Soiled Bourbon in Albuquerque, stated he expects his firm, which has been shuttered since March, to qualify for a grant. However with out being positive, Travis stated he’s in limbo till the SBA offers extra data.
The eligibility pointers forestall Travis from making use of for a second spherical of funding by way of the Paycheck Safety Program if he’s hoping to take part within the extra focused program.
“There’s nonetheless so many unknowns about it,” he stated.
Garcia harassed that particulars round eligibility haven’t but been finalized. He stated he’s labored to relay issues from New Mexicans within the leisure trade to higher-ups at SBA, and stated the principles might but change earlier than this system launches.
“If it was set in stone, I believe they might have already launched it,” Garcia stated.