Many Iowa music venues are still waiting for federal funding to help them keep their doors open during the pandemic.
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant offers money to live music venues that lost revenue due to COVID-19. Tobi Parks owns XBK, a small performing arts venue in Des Moines. She says venues have waited long enough and need the money now.
“Every month that the expenses are coming again is another month that a venue ends up, unfortunately, closing its doors,” Parks says, “and we are in a desperate position.”
Congress approved the grant program in December of 2020, but it’s up to the U.S, Small Business Administration to release and assign the funding. The grants are split up based on economic losses. Parks says many Iowa venues had losses and are in critical condition financially as they wait for the funds to arrive.
“We are hanging on by a thread right now and that funding needs to come as soon as humanly possible,” she says. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, run through the SBA, allows for more than $16 billion in grants. Parks made her comments on the Iowa Public Radio program, “Talk of Iowa.”
(By Kassidy Arena, Iowa Public Radio)