RELIEF PROVIDED AS A RESULT OF THE CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION LEADERSHIP IN BOTH CHAMBERS OF CONGRESS
WASHINGTON – Vermont’s Congressional Delegation, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernard Sanders, and Representative Peter Welch, on Tuesday congratulated the most recent Vermont recipients of the U.S. Small Business Administration Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG). SVOG was created by legislation authored by Welch, with full support from Senator Leahy and Senator Sanders in their roles as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. Fifty nine venues across Vermont have received or will receive over $18.7 million in SVOG funding, available to eligible live music venues, movie theaters, and performing arts organizations that were shuttered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rep. Welch introduced the Save Our Stages (SOS) Act, a bill to provide financial support to keep independent live performance venues afloat through the coronavirus pandemic, in July 2020. It was signed into law in December 2020 after gathering significant bipartisan support in the House and Senate. As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Leahy was instrumental in getting this legislation signed into law and funds appropriated for the program. The program provides support to hard-hit businesses in the music and entertainment sector that were forced to shut their doors due to pandemic restrictions. SVOG grants have served as a lifeline for these venues, who have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. To celebrate the success of these grants in supporting local venues, Welch has visited with recipients in Burlington, Rutland, and Springfield.
“What began as the ‘Save Our Stages’ movement over a year ago, has now materialized into meaningful relief for the venues we know and love,” said Rep. Welch and Sens. Sanders and Leahy. “Our independent live music and entertainment venues not only bring joy and energy to our downtowns and communities, they are economic engines that help make Vermont such a special place to live and visit.”
A list of recipients can be viewed here.