SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal visited the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Monday to announce $3,740,728 in funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Shuttered Venues Operation Grant (SVOG) program. Joining Neal for this announcement was Hall of Fame President and CEO John Doleva.
“These funds are incredibly instrumental to operations like the Basketball Hall of Fame who suffered greatly because of the pandemic,” Neal said. “For the safety of the American people, the government forced these agencies to close their doors. And now, it is the government again stepping in to make sure that they are able to get back on their feet.”
Doleva added that “the Shuttered Venue Operations Grant commitment means the Basketball Hall of Fame can stabilize its business operations that were so severely impacted over the last 15 months and allow us to better position ourselves for long-term survival and future growth. Without the SBA’s SVOG, many venues, like ours, would have struggled to regain footing and suffered long-term consequences that for some may have been permanent.”
SVOG was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes more than $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible entities include live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing-arts organization operators, museum operators, motion-picture theater operators (including owners), and talent representatives.
Across Massachusetts, 244 grants have been awarded, totaling $194,408,323. Thirty-three of those are in the First Congressional District, totaling $20,010,864. In addition to the Basketball Hall of Fame, they include Agawam Cinemas; Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival in Becket; Chester Theatre Co.; Public Emily Inc. in Conway; Stationery Factory Events in Dalton; Luthier’s Co-Op in Easthampton; Berkshire Choral International, Berkshire International Film Festival, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, and Shaw Entertainment Group in Great Barrington; Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts in Holyoke; Athlone Artists, Edith Wharton Restoration, and WAM Theatre in Lenox; Exit Seven Players in Ludlow; HiLo Holding Co. and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation in North Adams; Barrington Stage Co. and Berkshire Theatre Group in Pittsfield; Corcoran Productions in Richmond; PDP Productions in Shelburne; Egremont Village Inn and Triplex Management Corp. in South Egremont; Tower Theatres in South Hadley; Bold New Directors in Southampton; Cindy Pettibone in Southwick; Springfield Symphony Orchestra; Old Sturbridge Inc.; NV Concepts Unlimited and the Theatre Project in West Springfield; and Community Images Inc. and Williamstown Theatre Foundation in Williamstown.