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Congress passed $15 billion for live entertainment relief, so where is it?

Vendors, operators frustrated after waiting months
Posted at 8:43 PM, Mar 18, 2021

Concert promoters and live venue and entertainment owners are no doubt thrilled to be back open in Texas.

They're a little less pleased with the pace at which $15 billion in federal relief funds is being released to help rebound from a disastrous 2020.

They aren't alone.

"I’m very concerned. It was bipartisan[...] and we still don’t have rules yet from the SBA , and you have to have rules so people can apply," Republican Congressman Roger Williams told 25 News on Thursday.

Williams is hearing from frustrated venue and entertainment business folks, many of whom didn't qualify for PPP dollars.

The Save Our Stages Act, which Williams started pushing in August, finally became law in December as part of another COVID-19 relief package.

But nearly three months later, not even one dime in allocated funds has been dolled out by the Small Business Administration.

“They have some excuses. They don’t have enough people, we’ve had a transition, they didn’t have an administrator. That’s all true, okay I got it. But our venue owners are waiting and this is a deal," said Williams.

The agency plans to open up applications in April, and Williams is hopeful checks start going out in May to June.

As 25 News has been reporting for months, vendors, venue owners and everyone dependent on live entertainment feels the financial squeeze.

For more info from the SBA on applying, click here.