Before everything shutdown, Cleveland was a busy city with plans to scale their community events. Over the course of the shutdown, some businesses have closed their doors, and the overall population has been worried about the current financial and health situation. In Akron, small grants were given out to local businesses, but they were only able to help with overhead costs for several months. In Cleveland, $1.3 million of the county CARES funding was designated for Arts Cleveland, which was split among artists and performing arts businesses.
Scroll below to read the full interview from November, 2020 with the Cleveland Pilot City Leader, LeAundra, Mark and Jill.
What did the overall situation look like in your city when the pandemic hit?
2020 started on a positive note. People were out, we were busy, sales were up. Downtown redevelopment projects were launched. Plans for large-scale community events were underway. All signs pointed to a good year.
What is the current situation in your city? What has changed?
Bleak with a grim outlook for the future. Many businesses have closed, temporarily or permanently. Streets are empty. People are worried - about getting sick and about their finances. It will take years to rebuild businesses and consumer confidence.
What did you get out of being a pilot city in the REVS initiative?
Hope. The opportunity to take a difficult situation and work and advocate for something positive - for people, businesses and communities. And, a sense of community within the industry.
Were you able to precure funding for the local venues? If so, where did the support come from?
In Akron - There were small grants available locally that many of us were able to access, but they were barely enough to cover more than a couple months of electric bills.
In Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) - Some of the CARES funds that Cuyahoga County received have been made available to local venues. Arts Cleveland received $1.3 million of the County CARES funds to be split among artists and small performing arts businesses. We designated $712,800 as the total amount available for small performing arts businesses with the following funding amounts.
Distribution of Funds (Maximum Funding)
Annual revenue of $1,000,000 or more: $45,000
Annual revenue of $500,000 to $999,999: $25,000
Annual revenue of $100,000 to $499,999: $10,000
Annual revenue less than $100,000: $5,000