HELENA — The State of Montana has made $10 million available in COVID Relief grant funding for the live entertainment industry to help offset the impact of the pandemic.
“Live entertainment businesses that bring together large groups of Montanans and visitors have had to cancel or postpone all of their events during the pandemic. While that effort has certainly minimized transmission of COVID-19 and kept their customers and employees safe, it has greatly impacted their revenues and outlook,” said Governor Steve Bullock, D-Montana.
Live entertainment has been one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic. Many local theaters and concert venues have not been able to hold events since March.
“These businesses are really fundamental to the quality of life we enjoy, and they employ hundreds of workers,” Bullock said. “But since large groups can not gather, acts aren’t touring and it isn’t smart public health to risk a virus by attending live entertainment events, their revenues have been driven to zero.”
The Live Entertainment Grant Program will provide up to 25 percent of the 2019 gross revenue of a business or nonprofit, or a maximum of $1 million per applicant.
The program is available to Montana organizations whose revenues consist of at least 33% ticket sales, and have been operating at less than 10% of last year’s revenue.
Bullock told reporters Wednesday, the live entertainment industry is fundamental to the quality of life many Montanans enjoy.
“Without additional support for our live entertainment venues, we risk losing those cultural assets,” said Bullock.
Bars, restaurants, and other facilities whose primary business is anything other than live entertainment are not eligible for the grant program.
Applications will be evaluated on a first come first serve basis and will be open on August 12 at covidrelief.mt.gov.