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City Offers SF Music Venue Grants, $3M on the Table

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San Francisco’s $3 million Music and Entertainment Venue Recovery Fund opened for applications on 4/21, and the deadline to submit is May 5. The grants will be distributed in amounts of at least $10,000 to shuttered concert venues, clubs and other live entertainment venues. The fund is also accepting donations from the public.

This does feel a little bit like too little to late, but for live music venues who now have some hope of coming back online in June, (when according to Newsom the state reopens fully June 15th) this could be the cash that the turns the lights back on.  The minimum your venue will get is $10k, it depends on how many venues apply, and if there are any more donations to expand the fund.

For most venues in SF, $10k won’t even pay a months rent, so let’s hope there’s a enough money to really help those who apply.

To apply you need to of had a Place of Entertainment (POE) permit up to Feb. 2020, and you need to show/prove your venue was used mostly for live entertainment.  Priority will be given to venues older than 15 years, and businesses in Cultural Districts or with Legacy Business Status.  And if you are in imminent danger of closing forever.


Grant requirements

Grant applications are open from April 21 at 5:00 pm until May 5, 2021 at 11:59 P.M. PDT. You must show that you host live entertainment regularly.

Your business must have had a Place of Entertainment (POE) permit on February 25, 2020. You also must maintain that POE permit.

Grant funds

Grants will be for at least $10,000.

You can use the grants to pay for rent, mortgage, payroll, unsecured property taxes, insurance or utility costs.

What to do

1. Check if your business is eligible

Your business must have had a Place of Entertainment (POE) permit on February 25, 2020. You also must maintain that POE permit.


The principal function of your business must be offering live entertainment, meaning that you have:

  • Performance and audience spaces
  • Sound system
  • Lighting system

Frequent live entertainment

Before February 25, 2020, you must have provided live entertainment 16 or more days a month on average or every day you were open to the public.

You must commit to reopen, when possible, with live entertainment on 16 or more days per month on average or on every day you are open to the public.


You also must market performances at your venue with specific performers identified by name.


Your business cannot be owned, managed, or exclusively booked by a publicly traded company.

2. Check our priority criteria

We will use these criteria to prioritize grant payments.

These criteria are not required to apply for this grant.

Our priority criteria are:

  • Been in operation for 15 years
  • Registered on the City Legacy Business Registry 
  • Have a maximum occupancy of less than 1,000 people on your Place of Assembly permit from the Fire Department
  • Be located in and contribute to a Cultural District
  • Be in imminent danger of closing

Imminent danger of closing means that you would have to close permanently within 90

All grant info and application here. 

The City and County of San Francisco is accepting tax-deductible monetary contributions for the City’s COVID-19 outbreak response efforts.

As part of these efforts, the Venue Fund provides financial support to San Francisco-based live music and entertainment venues in order to prevent their permanent closure due to the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presently, you can pay by check or by having funds electronically transferred to the City and County of San Francisco. Online donations will be available soon.

1) If paying by check, make payments to “CCSF-OSB.” Please include “Venue Fund” in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to:

Music and Entertainment Venue Fund
Office of Small Business
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
City Hall Room 140
San Francisco, CA 94102

2) To have funds electronically transferred to the City and County of San Francisco’s bank account through ACH, email for instructions.

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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