See How Much Austin Venues Received in Shuttered Venue Operators Grants

Federal program gave $130 million to over 100 local businesses

After the pandemic halted live performance, Austin music spaces rallied with the National Independent Venue Association for delivery of federal COVID-19 emergency relief funds. So, what came of the national Save Our Stages effort?

Khruangbin fans at Stubb’s on September 16, 2021. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

After many delays, the Small Business Administration has awarded over 11.3 billion via the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program during the summer. Over $130 million went to Austin-based live music and performing arts venues, as well as museums, movie theaters, arts organizations, event promoters, and talent representatives.

Of the 108 local groups to receive funding, the top five amounts went to: UT Austin, Messina Touring Group, South by Southwest, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, and Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline. Messina Touring Group promotes tours for stars like Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, and George Strait. See the largest-to-smallest numbers for all awarded Austin businesses below, according to the latest data published October 18.

Grant amounts were calculated based on 45% of the business’ pre-pandemic gross 2019 revenue. Some awarded businesses which suffered a 70% or greater revenue loss for the most recent 2021 calendar quarter later received a second round of supplemental SVOG funding. Combined initial and supplemental funding capped at $10 million.

The only Austin recipient to hit the upper $10 million ceiling was UT Austin, which owns the Frank Erwin Center alongside other on-campus venues like Bass Concert Hall.

As long as businesses follow the SBA rules, the funds do not have to be repaid. The grants can be used for payroll, rent, utilities, mortgage, debt payments, insurance, and other typical business expenses. To be eligible, businesses must have been in operation by Feb. 29, 2020.

Grant amounts below reflect the combined total of businesses’ initial and supplemental grants. The original data listed many recipients by LLC names, which have been updated here to reflect their more common public-facing names.

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Shuttered Venue Operators Grants, Small Business Administration, SXSW, Messina Touring Group, UT Austin, Alamo Drafthouse

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