Small Business Administration awards nearly $ 250 million to Washington cultural spaces | Washington

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(The Center Square) – Entertainment venues, performing arts centers and museums across Washington state have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and according to payments from a federal grant program intended In helping them and their organizations a major part went to several well known sites in the Evergreen State.

The Small Businesses Administration of the United States Subsidy for shutter room operators has distributed over $ 16 billion nationwide. In Washington State, 324 entities were promised $ 248 million in grants.

The list of companies reflects the longstanding strengthening of aviation, nature and the arts in the Pacific Northwest. Three organizations received the maximum of $ 10 million allocated: Enchanted Christmas in Seattle, a traveling holiday market and Christmas maze of light billed as the “world’s largest” which has been canceled for 2020; the Tacoma Dome, a multi-purpose arena in Tacoma; and the Museum of Flight Foundation in Tukwila, which supports the Seattle Metro Museum of Flight, one of the largest non-profit air and space museums in the world.

According to financial documents of the Museum of Flight Foundation, for the fiscal year ending December 2019 – just before the onset of the pandemic – the museum’s total revenue was nearly $ 28.4 million, with nearly $ 26.3 million dollars in spending. Net profit was over $ 2.1 million.

The Museum of Flight has been closed for almost a year – from March 2020 to March 2021 – due to COVID-19 restrictions.

According to the Aviation Museum Annual report 2020, “While many positions have been eliminated as a result of necessary budget cuts, your philanthropy has allowed us to retain the majority of our talented team. We were able to work effectively and efficiently from home, with technology and other resources quickly deployed thanks to your support.

Among the state’s top 10 recipients is the Pacific Northwest Ballet Association, which has received nearly $ 6 million. Last year, the Pacific Northwest Ballet had to put all dancers, musicians and many staff on leave due to the pandemic. The Pacific Northwest Ballet returned this month after a seven-month COVID shutdown.

Based on the grant criteria, these and other organizations qualify under the applicable designations of “Venue Operator or Promoter”, “Museum Operator” and “Live Performing Arts Organization Operator”.

Applicants are eligible to receive 45% of their 2019 gross income, up to $ 10 million per grant. In order to qualify for the grant, the businesses had to have been opened by February 29, 2020. Any federal paycheck protection program loans that the businesses canceled would have to be subtracted from the grant total.

Top ten recipients in Washington State:

• $ 10 million: Enchanted Christmas LLC;

• $ 10 million: Tacoma Dome / City of Tacoma;

• $ 10 million: Foundation of the Aviation Museum;

• $ 8 million: Western Washington Association of Fairs;

• $ 8 million: 5e Association of Avenue Theaters;

• $ 8 million: Seattle Theater Group;

• $ 8 million: Zoological Society of Woodland Park;

• $ 6.3 million: Community of learning from experience;

• $ 6 million: Pacific Northwest Ballet Association;

• $ 5.5 million: The Seattle Aquarium Society.

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