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SBA: Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal back open by Saturday

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(Mike Osborne)  --  The Democrats and Republicans who make up Tennessee’s Congressional delegation don’t agree on much, but they agree on this: The federal Small Business Administration needs to get its online, pandemic aid application portal back open immediately. 

In early April, the SBA began accepting applications for federal grants from pandemic battered small entertainment venues. But the agency’s website crashed almost immediately and hasn’t been restored more than two weeks later.

Tennessee pols this week fired off letters urging SBA to quickly get the application process back on track.

Memphis Democrat Steve Cohen wrote “Live venues on Beale Street and beyond are the heart of Memphis, but businesses are receiving eviction notices and some in Memphis have already been forced to close. This funding is a lifeline and cannot come soon enough.”

Republican Senator Bill Haggerty wrote “With each passing day, more independent businesses are forced to shutter permanently or file for bankruptcy. Landlords and banks are no longer permitting deferrals and are pressing for immediate payment of past due accounts; businesses are receiving eviction notices; mom-and-pop business are being forced to sell.”

On its website, the SBA is promising to have the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal back open by no later than Saturday, Apr. 24.

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