The industry, according to the recent NJIVA survey, is still struggling.
Each respondent – which included non-profit and for-profit organizations – reported an average 67% decrease in overall ticket sales in 2021 compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic), although the average ticket sale price remains comparable, according to the press release. Around 90% of respondents also reported an average decrease of 72% in overall non-ticket revenue and an increase in their no-show rates. This happened alongside an increase in overall labor costs for sites last year.
Eighty percent of survey respondents have received relief funds from the Federal Grant for Enclosed Venue Operators (SVOG) and 45% of them have received the NJ Community Stage Grant to offset losses in 2020 when they were forced to close. But despite reopening in 2021, losses from those sites have continued, the statement said.
“This data clearly shows that our industry is still suffering from the financial impacts of the pandemic,” said Sara Scully, NJIVA Partner and CEO of Hopewell Theatre, in the statement.
NJIVA also received a report indicating which venues or promoters received the 2021 NJ Community Milestone Grant for 2020. Data shows that recipients of this grant were diverse: 36% of grant recipients were businesses owned by women or minorities and 36% were located in areas of opportunity. , as planned when the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) allocated an additional $10 million to the initial $7.5 million passed last year to help for-profit sites, according to the release.
However, only a very small percentage of sites and promoters in the state have obtained the grant. Thirty-nine sites or promoters received the grant, while there are at least 130 for-profit sites or promoters in the state. Of the total $17.5 million allocated to this grant program, for sites and for-profit developers, only $5,246,021 million has been awarded, according to the statement.
NJIVA is currently investigating whether the remaining funding of nearly $12 million from the Community Milestone Grant may be available from NJEDA for a much-needed second round of funding.