San Francisco, California – Mayor London N. Breed announced today that the City’s Music and Entertainment Venue Restoration Fund will begin accepting grant applications starting Wednesday April 21, 2021. The fund was set up to financially support live music and music from San Francisco entertainment venues to prevent their permanent closings due to the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Venue Fund supports the recommendations of the Economic Recovery Task Force in support of the arts, culture, hospitality and entertainment sectors. The fund is also in line with San Francisco’s other entertainment support efforts, including Mayor Breed’s $ 2.5 million entertainment fee and tax relief and the arts and culture support proposals in the Mayor’s Small Business Restoration.
“These music and entertainment venues are part of what makes San Francisco a special place to live and visit,” said Mayor Breed. “The past year has been devastating for the entertainment sector and this local funding will help these companies stay until they can get back up and running.”
In March 2021, Mayor Breed and Supervisor Matt Haney agreed to allocate $ 3 million to the fund as part of $ 24.8 million for small business loans and grants under the current year’s surplus spending plan. In the first round of grants, all $ 3 million of the same amount will be spent on each eligible venue. The grants are a minimum of $ 10,000 for each venue. However, this amount depends on how many venues are qualified for the program.
“Our independent music and nightlife venues have been badly hit over the past year and are in dire need of the support this fund will provide,” said Supervisor Matt Haney. “Night life and entertainment are cornerstones of our city’s economy and culture. When we reopen and recover, we need our city’s venues to not only survive but also to grow stronger. “
The fund is managed by the San Francisco Office of Small Business and was developed in consultation with stakeholders from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Entertainment Commission, the Small Business Commission, the San Francisco Venue Coalition, and the Independent Venue Alliance.
The fund is also available to receive donations from the public. All private donations received before the first round of scholarships will be distributed during this round. If additional money is added to the city from the city or through donations after the first grant round, that money will be given out in subsequent grant rounds. Members of the public interested in donating can find more information at sfosb.org/venuefund
“San Francisco’s famous live music venues bring more than just economic activity to our city. They are the beating heart of our shared culture, diversity and sense of identity, ”said Ben Bleiman, president of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission. “But due to the pandemic, many of them are on the verge of permanent closure. We welcome Mayor Breed, Supervisor Haney, and our leaders to San Francisco for swift and decisive action in establishing the Music & Entertainment Venue Fund. These grants will play a vital role in saving our live music venues before it’s too late. “
“Live music venues couldn’t be open for even a single day in any way for over a year. They are among the hardest hit companies in San Francisco, so they’re hanging by a thread, ”said Sharky Laguana, president of the San Francisco Small Business Commission. “Many had to close permanently. Music is central to San Francisco’s identity and history, and as a musician, I don’t even want to think of our city without our beloved venues. This help will make a huge difference and help keep the music alive in San Francisco. Many thanks to Mayor Breed and Supervisor Haney for setting up the Music & Entertainment Venue Fund. “
Applications are open on April 21st and the deadline is May 5th, 2021. Venues eligible for funding must have approval for the location of the entertainment commission before the start of the pandemic and be able to Demonstrating a track record of significant live entertainment program results, including eligibility criteria.
Venues interested in applying and members of the public interested in donating to the fund can learn more at sfosb.org/venuefund