Article by Ukiah Daily Journal
More than $1 million in federal grants have been awarded to seven Mendocino County theaters and concert venues as part of a Covid-19 relief bill, the office of Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) announced this week.
According to a press release from Rep. Huffman, 62 venues in his California district “have received a total of over $35 million in Shuttered Venue Operators Grants, (a program) which provides support to hard-hit businesses in the music and entertainment sector that were forced to shut their doors due to pandemic restrictions.”
The release also notes that the program “was initially plagued by technical challenges. On the day the application portal opened, it crashed and reopened almost 3 weeks later. Huffman (then) joined over 200 bipartisan Members of Congress in calling for the Small Business Administration to expedite the release of funds. This effort was successful, and the SBA has now approved 9,844 grants, including 1,393 in California.”
“Local businesses in the music and entertainment industry are an important thread in the fabric of our communities – they create good jobs, bolster the economy, and contribute to the culture of our region,” Rep. Huffman is quoted as saying. “The Small Business Administration’s move to improve and expedite the approval process for critical funding is welcome news, and I will continue working to ensure local businesses have the support they need to thrive as we rebuild from the pandemic.”The Small Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established through the bipartisan Covid-19 relief package passed in December 2020. Rep. Huffman helped secure additional funding for the SVOG program through the American Rescue Plan, to total over $16 billion in grants for shuttered venues in order to keep businesses afloat and workers on payroll.
The seven operators in Mendocino County listed as receiving a total of more than $1.1 million are: Coast Cinemas in Fort Bragg, $425,286; Flynn Creek Circus in Mendocino, $266,518; Jeffrey and Lois A. Hoover (dba Noyo Theatre) in Willits, $235,850; Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville, $139,071; Arena Theater Association in Point Arena, $91,145; Ukiah Players Theatre, $66,012, and the Willits Community Theatre, $42,682