Shuttered New Mexico venues may soon see relief

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – $15-billion is up for grabs for theatres and small venues struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic. Local theatres are hoping to take a piece of the pie once the money becomes available.

The Guild Cinema, like many others, has been closed since March 2020 and a reopening date is still a long way away. “Well because we are closed, our main revenue stream has been shut and for understandable reasons but it’s been taken away,” said owner Keif Henley.

The grant is called the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. Any live venue, like concert arenas or small theatre, can apply and receive financial help.

Larger theatres that have locations in more than ten states aren’t eligible. The grants are capped at $10 million but the dollar amount could change depending on the need in the area, which made the want to apply a no-brainer for Henley.

“It could go towards rent, utilities, insurance billing, possibly to payroll,” said Henley. Rent and utilities getting covered would be a huge relief since those are still something he has been paying for since they closed.

Right now, Henley doesn’t know when applications will drop for him to apply for the grant but he says it should be any day now. After the initial cap of $10 million, if venues are still losing over 30% revenue there is another federal grant they can apply for.

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