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Michigan to support struggling venues with $3.5m in grants

Michigan’s live music and entertainment venues affected by COVID-19 are in line to receive a share of $3.5m (£2.6m/€2.9m) in grants from the state.

The Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program will provide individual clubs and concert halls negatively impacted by the pandemic with up to $40,000 in funding from the Michigan Strategic Fund Board (MSF).

For venues to be eligible, it must have received at least 33 per cent of its 2019 gross revenues from the sale of tickets for live music or entertainment events, or at least 70 per cent of its earned revenue through cover charges or tickets sales, production fees or production reimbursements, nonprofit educational initiatives, or the sale of beverages, food or merchandise at events.

Venues must also demonstrate that their second quarter revenues from April 1 to June 30, 2020 were not greater than 10 per cent of second quarter revenue from April 1 to June 30, 2019. They must also employ less than 30 full time employees.

The MSF said awarded grant funds are to be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or costs related to reopening a business.

The grant application will open on January 21 for a week and the Michigan Independent Venue and Promoter Association (MIVPA) will process applications and determine funding.

The MSF will then distribute the grant funds based on the recommendation of the MIVPA and funds are expected to be allocated beginning later this month and will be dispersed by February 28.

The news follows US Congress agreeing to terms on a $900bn COVID-19 Relief Bill earlier this month, which includes a $15bn Save Our Stages aid package for independent music venues, theatres and cultural institutions.

Image: A sentient pickle / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Edited for size

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