Financial help is on the way to presenters of live music and entertainment in San Francisco whose businesses have had to close during the pandemic.
On Monday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced that The City will begin accepting applications on Wednesday, April 21, for a first round of grants from its $3 million Music and Entertainment Venue Recovery Fund.
Grants of at least $10,000 are being offered from the fund, which is being administered by San Francisco’s Office of Small Business, and was developed with input 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.
Businesses eligible to receive funds must show a record of presenting live entertainment and must have held a city permit from the Entertainment Commission from before the pandemic began, among other criteria, according to a press release issued by the mayor on Monday.
The deadline to apply is May 5.
“These music and entertainment venues are part of what makes San Francisco such a special place to live and visit,” said Breed. “This past year has been devastating for the entertainment sector, and these local funds will help these businesses hang on until they can start operating again.”
Sharky Laguana, president of the San Francisco Small Business Commission, said, “Live music venues have not been able to be open for even a single day, at any capacity, for over a year. They have been among the hardest hit businesses in San Francisco, and as a result are hanging on by a thread. Many have been forced to permanently close. Music is a central part of San Francisco’s identity and history, and speaking as a musician, I don’t want to even think about our city without our beloved venues.”
The funding is part of ongoing efforts to support arts and culture in The City, including $2.5 million in fee and tax relief for entertainment venues in the Mayor’s Small Business Recovery Act legislation, according to the press release.
In March, Breed and Supervisor Matt Haney, who took the lead on creating the fund, announced that $3 million from a $24.8 million fund for small business loans and grants would be allocated for venues.
The fund is also available to receive donations from the public. Those who would like to contribute, or businesses seeking funds, should visit sfosb.org/venuefund.
In related news, meals for people who work behind the scenes in the music industry are available from April 20 through May 13 via the Touring Professionals Alliance, a nonprofit providing support to crew members who have lost work due to the pandemic.
In partnership with promoter Another Planet Entertainment, the Touring Professionals Alliance Kitchen is teaming with chefs and restaurants across the U.S. to serve high-quality, take-home meals to live event industry professionals. In the Bay Area, service is also offered to theatrical labor, bartenders, security, catering, staging, sound, lighting and video company employees who haven’t worked for more than a year.
The Touring Professionals Alliance Kitchen is operating twice weekly locally, with food from Michael Tusk, owner-chef of Quince, Cotogna and Verjus, and Hi Neighbor Group, which operates Corridor, The Vault and Trestle in The City. In Oakland, restaurant partners are Jenny Schwarz and Kyle Itani of Hopscotch and Silvia & Cory McCollow of NIDO’s BackYard.
For specifics on dates and locations of meal distribution, visit TouringProfessionals.com.