Dayton-area entertainment groups get millions in shuttered venue aid

Four Dayton-area entertainment entities have been awarded a combined $13 million in federal shuttered venues funds to help with revenue losses caused by the pandemic shutdown.

Dayton Live, which operates the Schuster Center and other venues, received $6.4 million and was among more than 15 area organizations receiving money from the Small Business Administration through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Three others getting more than $2 million each from the SBA include the La Comedia Dinner Theatre in Springboro, Winter Guard International Inc. in Miamisburg and the city of Kettering for the Fraze Pavilion, records show.

The head of Dayton Live, which operates Victoria Theater, called the SBA money a “truly significant grant.”

Together with more than $1.45 million from previous Paycheck Protection Program loan and CARES Act grants, the SBA money “will help us rebuild after the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic — but it does not make us whole,” Dayton Live President and CEO Ty Sutton said in a statement Monday.

Actual and projected operating costs for the grant period are more than $8.5 million with additional capital costs to maintain buildings of more than $3 million, he added.

Sutton said “rebuilding will take a couple of years.”

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

The SBA recently announced it was awarding more than $7.5 billion in Shuttered Venue Operators Grants stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds went to more than 10,000 “hard-hit live entertainment small businesses, nonprofits, and venues,” according to the SBA.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million, federal records show.

The recipient list involves more than 300 Ohio applicants, including several from the Dayton area. Among them: Dayton Society of Natural History, $680,335; Dayton Art Institute, $434,312; The Human Race, Inc., $144,906; and the Oregon District Business Association, $143,865.



The Rose Music Center in Huber Heights was not on the SBA list. Attempts to reach Rose officials on Monday were unsuccessful.

Dayton Live received the money July 20, about a week after Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman said his city was told it would get $2,029,912 for the Fraze.

Schwieterman said applications were considered on a “first-come, first-serve” basis. Kettering, he said, was “in that last pool of applicants. So we weren’t certain that there would still be available funds by the time our project was reviewed.”

While the SBA funds will help, Schwieterman said they will not cover an entire season’s operating cost. Earlier this year, Kettering approved a $3.8 million package for this Fraze season, an abbreviated one due to COVID-19.

General requirements for applicants included: Being fully operational on Feb. 29, 2020; and having a gross earned revenue during any 2020 quarter that “demonstrated not less than a 25% reduction from the gross earned revenue” from the 2019 corresponding quarter, according to the SBA.

Eligible entities “may be live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators,” according to SBA documents.

That includes “entities of these types owned by state or local governments,” records show.

SBA funds

Dayton-area entities awarded more than $100,000 from the Small Business Administration Shuttered Venue Operators Grant include:

•Dayton Live, Dayton $6,422,755

•La Comedia, Springboro, $2,512,106

•Winter Guard International, Inc., Miamisburg, $2,138,842

•City of Kettering, Fraze Pavilion, $2,029,912

•Dayton Society of Natural History, Dayton, $680,335

•The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, $434,312

•Dayton Movies Inc., Dayton, $213,417

•The Human Race, Inc., Dayton, $144,906

•Oregon District Business Association, Dayton, $143,865

•FUNN-E, LLC, Dayton, $105,165

•Little Art Theatre Association Inc., Yellow Springs, $102,299

SOURCE: U.S. Small Business Administration.

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE





About the Author