Kettering seeks $2M for Fraze Pavilion from SBA shuttered venues grant

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

The city of Kettering plans to seek more than $2 million for the Fraze Pavilion from the Small Businesses Administration.

Kettering plans to apply for a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant for revenue lost at the 4,300-seat outdoor venue. It has not been open since 2019 due to the coronavirus, but the city is planning a shortened season this year.

The SBA process is first-come, first-serve and applications were scheduled to open April 8, said Marcy Bare, Kettering assistant finance director.

However, due to technical issues with the SBA portal, no applications had been accepted as of Wednesday, she said.

Kettering plans to seek 45% of revenue lost based on 2019 receipts, which will be more than $2 million, city records show.

The SBA can provide grants of up to $10 million for applicants meeting “certain conditions,” documents say.

The application process is three-tiered, with government entities being part of the last tier, Bare said. The third-tier applications will not be considered until 28 days after the portal opens, she added.

“So it’s possible by the time we get to the third tier, if enough other organizations have applied … they won’t have any money left,” Bare said.

“I think that we qualify. There will just be a lot of people ahead of us,” she added.

The federal grants are part of an economic aid package signed into law in late 2020, according to the SBA.

Eligible entities “may be live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators,” according to SBA documents.

That includes “entities of these types owned by state or local governments.”

The Fraze commonly holds performances that fit the criteria outlined in materials relating to the grants.

Venues such as weddings sites and sport stadiums used for concerts are not likely to be eligible to apply, according to the SBA.

Kettering’s council last month approved a $3.8 million budgeted package for this Fraze season.

That came after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine amended an order to allow outdoor entertainment venues to admit up to 30% of their fixed, seated capacity.

This Fraze season is expected to start in mid-July and run about six to eight weeks under COVID-19 guidelines, City Manager Mark Schwieterman has said.

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