Rep. Mike Levin
Rep. Mike Levin (D). Image from video

U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) announced nearly $19 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding will go to local entertainment venues, theaters, and museums through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program.

A total of 28 venues in North County San Diego and South Orange County received $18,982,835 to help cover payroll, rent and mortgages, worker protection costs, and other qualified expenses. Rep. Levin helped pass the funding as part of COVID relief legislation in December 2020, and later as part of the American Rescue Plan.

Among local recipients receiving funds are the Historic Mission San Juan Capistrano, Belly Up Tavern, North Coast Repertory Theatre, City of Vista/Moonlight Theater, Oceanside Theatre Company, Poinsettia Center For The Arts, Lux Art Institute, La Paloma Theatre, New Village Arts, and the Carlsbad Music Festival.

The SVOG program was created as part of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Disaster Assistance administers more than $16 billion through the SVOG program.

Eligible applicants were able to qualify for grants equal to 45 percent of their gross earned revenue, with a maximum award amount of $10 million. A portion of the SVOG funding was reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.