Roughly three years since COVID-19 locked down the world, many businesses are still trying to get their feet back on the ground in the post-pandemic economy. In recognition of this, the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment has partnered with Invest Atlanta to award $725k in grants to support Atlanta entrepreneurs in creative fields.
The joint program, also known as the Creative Industries Grant Fund, handed out a total of 128 grants to support Georgia’s film and entertainment industries with amounts ranging from $5k – $20k. This is especially important because of how hard this sector was hit by the pandemic, as evidenced by Invest Atlanta’s survey from 2020 where 84% of respondents who work in the entertainment industry said their incomes fell that year. Additionally, as per a study conducted by the Brookings Institute, which estimated cumulative losses within the creative industries from April-July 2020 alone, Georgia was predicted to have lost 86,244 jobs and $4.5 billion in sales. This funding will prove to change the lives of many, to say the least.
“Creatives have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic as performing arts centers closed, events were called off, and studios were temporarily shuttered,” explained Eloisa Klementich, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta. Later, saying, “We recognize that many are still working to regain their footing, which makes this round of funding especially impactful.”
The grant fund is a repurposement of a loan program created by the city of Atlanta back in 2017 to support creatives. It previously handed out $500,000 in loans to entrepreneurs, and to qualify for one of these loans, which are now grants in the new program, businesses are required to provide verification that they are located in Atlanta, financial documentation, and a list of the current and future projects that they plan to allocate the funding toward.
Grant recipients ranged from record and management labels to independent content creators to a variety of musicians and businesses that operate in creative fields, and they are allowed to spend the grants on production, post-production, marketing, distribution, touring, prototype development, as well as other creative purposes.