The federal government’s broad relief fund for the arts and cultural spaces, known as the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant website, crashed on the first day. The fund is worth 16 billion dollars and its much need relief in the hardest hit sector of business; entertainment.
Pitchfork reports that the problem occurred when venue owners tried to send off their application. Due to a technical glitch, the website (which was published April 8th) ended up crashing due to the glitch and the high demand.
This is not new, however, as the Small Business Administration (SBA)–which oversees the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant–ran into similar problems last year with their Paycheck Protection Program. Similarly, the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant is on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis, meaning that those venues that apply early are more likely to receive their fund, which is adding to the frustration of venue owners.
Reports also suggest that the SBA were fully aware of the problems before launch, including an issue with staffing and monitoring the website once published.
Last month, it was announced more clearly what the 1.9 trillion dollar stimulus bill would do to help the struggling entertainment industry.