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Many US venue owners are being recorded as ‘dead’ by the US government

This locks owners out of receiving financial aid from the the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

  • Tope Olufemi
  • 9 June 2021
Many US venue owners are being recorded as ‘dead’ by the US government

Many venue operators in the US are being recorded as ‘dead’ by the government, meaning that they cannot access the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.

The grant is in place to offer $16 billion dollars to venue operators, who have been affected by the pandemic’s shutting of venues.

Read this next: Only 50 US venue operators awarded pandemic relief since April

The New York Times reports that Bob Hansan, who runs a venue called Bobby Mckey’s, was told via email that his name “appears on the Do Not Pay list with the Match Source DMF."

The Social Security Administration’s Death Master File is in place to record dead citizens and make sure that financial payments are therefore ended as a result, however, Hansan and a number of others have been wrongly inputted into the system, which means that they have been refused access to the grant.

Read this next: $15 billion financial aid for US venues will struggle to meet demand

Michael Swier, founder of the Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge spoke about his own experience with being recorded as ‘dead” by the govenment.

Speaking to the NY Times, Swier asked: "What do I do? What kind of proof do they need? Can I say over the phone, 'It's me'?"

Read this next: 75% of UK clubs, bars and music venues face bankruptcy

The Shuttered Venue Operator’s grant has faced many problems since it began - including technical failures. As of June 4, only 50 operators had been awarded relief since April.

Tope Olufemi is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow them on Twitter here

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