Local live performance venues still awaiting federal relief

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- While many small businesses across the US have received billions in grants and loans from the federal government to remain open during the pandemic, one industry says its federal help has still not made it to them.

We're talking about the live performance venue industry.

Gary Witt, CEO of the Pabst Theater Group, says it's been more than three months since then-President Trump signed the SOS Act, which provides relief to venues like his.

The web portal to apply for funds didn't open until early April and then quickly crashed.

"It's very disappointing for us as an industry because we did the right thing back in March of 2020, we were the first ones to close and we will very likely be the last ones to open up again because our business is based upon inviting large crowds to get together in a space," Witt said. 

Witt says it's a tragedy that more independent venues will likely close while $16 billion to save them goes unused.

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