Virtually six months after Congress handed the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant into regulation, native leisure venues are struggling and ready for monetary assist.
With out the funds, leisure venues comparable to Tower Theatre, cannot get again on their toes.
“We have to pay again an terrible lot of debt from the final 12 months,” Tower Theatre working companion Chad Whitehead mentioned. “We now have additionally not been capable of do a whole lot of repairs on the constructing. A whole lot of issues that simply wanted to be carried out.”
Whitehead mentioned the venue misplaced most of its income throughout the pandemic. He believes the financial enhance is crucial to get issues going once more.
“We now have had very restricted availability to make payroll since January of this 12 months,” Whitehead mentioned. “Fortunately, we now have been capable of maintain our hourly employees on wages or the work that they do, however our wage employees have been on minimize wages and are nonetheless ready to be made entire.”
Tower Theatre shouldn’t be the one enterprise impacted. Companies across the theatre — the eating places, bars, Ubers and babysitters, for instance – are additionally taking successful. There’s a smaller, but nonetheless important financial system that thrives round reside leisure ready to begin up once more.
As leisure venues wait, paycheck safety program loans have gone out and Restaurant Revitalization funds have been obtained.
In a letter to Congress, the Nationwide Impartial Venue Affiliation requested why it’s taking so lengthy for the Small Enterprise Affiliation to course of the funding.
There are almost 15,000 venues throughout the nation which have utilized for the grant.
Just like Tower Theatre, round 30 % of these venues misplaced out on greater than 90 % of their income as a result of pandemic.
They’re the primary in line to obtain assist.
Of their newest report Wednesday morning, the SBA mentioned it has given out 90 grants, two to venues in Oklahoma.
Whitehead mentioned the Tower Theatre has not obtained a response.
Information 9 reached out to the Small Enterprise Administration a number of instances Wednesday. We now have not but obtained a response.
Whitehead mentioned Oklahoma U.S. Senator Stephanie Bice’s workplace additionally reached out and didn’t hear again.
“It additionally helps us sort of prepare for the autumn and to make plans and make preparations,” Whitehead mentioned. “Issues are going to be very busy. We’re going to have a whole lot of leisure choices.”
Tower Theatre has occasions working proper now with lowered capability. The theatre plans to return to full capability and full-strength August 13 with headliner Shakey Graves.