U.S. venue owners are being reported as ‘dead‘ by the government due to false death data. Unfortunately, owners are being turned away from receiving the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) due to their false death status.
The New York Times reports that applicants of the Small Business Administration, such as Washington-based piano bar owner Bob Hansan, are being rejected for the grant. Hansan received an email stating “Your name appears on the Do Not Pay list with the Match Source DMF.”
According to Resident Advisor, the reason for this issue is due to false death records recorded in the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File. Therefore, venue owners like Hansan have been wrongly reported as dead, preventing them from receiving the grant.
Michael Swier, owner of New York venues Bowery Ballroom and The Mercury Lounge, was also reported dead. Applicants like Swier are seeking ways to override these reports.
13,000 people have applied for the grant since its relaunch in April 2021. Before its kick-off, SVOG underwent a glitch in its application process, preventing business owners from applying for the grant.
SVOG is part of a $900 billion COVID relief package aiming to provide financial stability for independent venues, theaters, and other businesses. Depending on their earned revenue, eligible applicants can be awarded a maximum amount of $10 million.