By Lucie Amundsen
The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center has received a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant for $751,743. Funds are allotted for labor costs at $250,581, payment of utilities at $250,581 and maintenance costs at $250,581.
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar, was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
The funds will allow the DECC to welcome back staff as the convention, meeting and entertainment facility rebuilds its team and meets utility obligations that accrued, even as the building was unoccupied. The facility will also refresh areas to host a full slate of upcoming events.
Several individuals, organizations and offices contributed to this successful grant application, including the Northland Foundation, Northland Small Business Development Center, National Independent Venue Association, Minnesota District Office of the Small Business Administration and several DECC staffers, including Interim Director Roger Reinert, Director of Venue Operations Jeff Stark, Human Resources/Executive Assistant Renae Matt and Finance Director Caty Kaups.
The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, a publicly owned multi-use facility, hosts world-class events spanning conventions, the arts, and sports with panoramic views of Lake Superior and the iconic Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. Just steps away from charming Canal Park and Downtown Duluth, the DECC’s hospitable venues are nested within Minnesota’s most memorable destination.