Play on: Chicago will assist hard-hit music clubs, theaters

Performing Arts Venue Relief Program to award total of $1.2M to help venues reopen

Chicago /
Oct.October 05, 2020 01:15 PM
Lori Lightfoot (Credit: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Lori Lightfoot (Credit: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

The show will go on, at least at some of Chicago’s live entertainment venues.

Following months-long closures, the city is awarding financial grants to 120 music clubs, theaters and performing arts spaces to help them reopen, Block Club Chicago reported.

The for-profit and nonprofit venues can apply to receive $10,000 each in aid through the new Performing Arts Venue Relief Program, according to the report. That would bring the total award to $1.2 million, still a fraction of what is needed for the many related businesses that have been hard hit by the pandemic.

Donors to the program include the Walder Foundation, the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund and financial nonprofit Accion. Recipients will be chosen through a lottery.

Chicago has announced grants and loans to businesses affected by the crisis, but some of those measures have hit road bumps or have not been able to satisfy the need. According to a report in August, the city had only distributed $17 million of its $100 million small business resiliency loan fund, which was announced in March as short-term relief.

Also in August, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that 2,600 Illinois small businesses had received “business interruption grants” totalling $46 million. Those were given out to help stores that were looted and vandalized during some of the protests of the killing of George Floyd. Those state funds, also administered by lottery, went to just over half of total applicants.

Pritzker added that an additional $200 million would be distributed to small businesses statewide to help those that did not receive assistance from the federal Payroll Protection Program.

For Chicago small businesses that did receive PPP loans and have requested they not be paid back, those requests are scheduled to be processed beginning this week. [Block Club]Orion Jones


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