Grant money for Utahns in the live events industry pounded by the pandemic

Posted at 1:35 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 12:01:23-05

SALT LAKE CITY — People who produce live events like concerts, plays and conventions have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The state of Utah is making money available to those who’ve lost work in those areas.

It’s called the Utah COVID-19 Live Events Grant and the funds are available for a short time.

READ: Salt Lake County performance venues to shut down through December

The Governor's Office of Economic Development is offering $3 million for businesses that can meet a certain list of criteria.

Applications for this grant money became available Tuesday morning at 9:00 and by noon, the website said the $3 million allocated by the legislature was gone. However, GOED will leave the grant application process open until the original closing time and date which is noon on December 17. People will still be able to apply for the grants in case additional funding is provided.

To qualify, businesses must:

  • Be substantially involved in the promotion of performing arts, sports, or similar events
  • Have experienced a Utah revenue decline related to COVID-19
  • Have employees physically located in Utah
  • Have fewer than 250 full-time equivalent Utah employees
  • Establish that the use of funds will benefit Utah’s economy
  • Verify they’ll spend the awarded grant before Dec. 30, 2020
  • Be a for-profit or non-profit business entity properly registered with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code, or a sole proprietor whose primary place of business is located in Utah

It has been pretty bleak across the board.

“We have had to let some people go and these are our friends, you know, people we feel like are part of our family,” said Robert Johnson with Mountain View Staging Company. “I think that camaraderie is widespread in the events industry.”

READ: Concerts, events, Utah Grizzlies return to Maverik Center

Whether it’s concert productions, performing arts or the audio and visuals involved with conventions, none of those jobs have been happening for nine months now.

“It kind of went off a cliff in March and we’ve recovered in some ways because we were able to pivot very quickly and provide virtual event production services,” Johnson said. “We’re grateful that we’ve been able to keep the number of employees that we have and keep the momentum going.”

Even though the $3 million is already earmarked for needy recipients, qualified companies and individuals are still encouraged to go to the GOED website and apply in the event of additional funds becoming available.