Live music venues experience delay applying for COVID economic relief

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Small independent music venues— on the verge of closing— are anxious for relief. Economic stimulus money is available, but getting that money has not been easy due to technical snafus in the application process, according to Chris Zacher, board chair of the Colorado Independent Venue Association.

While venues navigate the securing of funds through the Small Business Administration, managers have been busy booking bands, comedians and drag queens.

“Now that everything is calming down, and everything is opening back up, we’re seeing people really excited to come out,” said Christina Serieno, event coordinator at Black Buzzard in LoDo.

Members of the bands Dayton Stone and the Undertones and Sycdvk said they are finally getting called for gigs.

“We have a show booked at the Oriental Theatre [on May 27],” said Nick Milano, guitarist with Dayton Stone and the Undertones.

Part of saving the industry includes support from the recent round of federal stimulus. Sen. John Hickenlooper is pushing small independent music venues to apply for their piece of $16.25 billion. The grant, which has recently been expanded, promises to provide relief for 45% of pre-pandemic revenue with certain caps and rules in place.

Applications were set to be accepted through the Small Business Administration starting April 8. As technical issues are resolved in the application process, Zacher said businesses should be able to apply at some point next week.

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