Montana’s Live Venues Set for Show Time with $8.2 Million and Counting in Critical Tester-backed COVID Relief Funding

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant funding heads to Montana venues in need

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced $8,246,070 in relief has so far gone to live venues, theatres, and concert halls across Montana through the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program. Additional grant awards are expected in the near future.

“When this pandemic hit, Montana’s live venues were the first to close their doors to help keep folks in our communities healthy, and now, more than a year later, they are among the last to reopen,” said Tester. “I’m proud to have worked with these small businesses to ensure they have the resources they need to get Montanans back to work and support our local economies. These venues are irreplaceable, and I look forward to joining my fellow Montanans in taking in the live shows we’ve come to know and love.”

The funding will support live venues and theaters across Montana, including:

  • $46,351 for the Billings Symphony Society (Billings)
  • $90,909 for the Bozeman Symphony Society (Bozeman)
  • $34,109 for Broad House Productions LLC (Bozeman)
  • $298,156 for John W. Owenhouse (Bozeman)
  • $71,371 for Live From the Divide LLC (Bozeman)
  • $246,537 for the Rialto Bozeman (Bozeman)
  • $612,257 for the Indian National Finals Rodeo (Browning)
  • $188,395 for the Butte Center for the Performing Arts (Butte)
  • $306,309 for Rockin’ the Rivers, Inc. (Cardwell)
  • $29,078 for Circle Community Players (Circle)
  • $35,702 for the Ennis Theater Operations Group (Ennis)
  • $37,489 for the Hamilton Players, Inc. (Hamilton)
  • $321,241 for Pharaoplex, Inc. (Hamilton)
  • $93,506 for the Montana Actors’ Theatre, Inc. (Havre)
  • $59,654 for Bill Printa, LLC (Missoula)
  • $46,066 for the Garden City Ballet Company (Missoula)
  • $3,785,303 for Logjam Presents LLC (Missoula)
  • $187,182 for the Missoula Downtown Association (Missoula)
  • $1,336 for Philipsburg Playhouse Productions (Philipsburg)
  • $1,347,401 for Polson Theatres, Inc. (Polson)
  • $35,974 for Beartooth Business Consulting (Red Lodge)

Tester has fought hard to ensure Montana’s entertainment and hospitality industries do not get left behind as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, he joined his bipartisan colleagues in a letter to SBA Administrator Isabella Guzman, urging the swift distribution of SVOG grant awards to Montana businesses in need.

The SVOG program funding, made available through the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, provides emergency assistance for eligible venues impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to cover operating costs like payroll, rent, utilities, personal protective equipment for staff, and more. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45 percent of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount for a signal grant award of $10 million.