SBA taps Goree to help lead $16.2 Billion Shuttered Venue Operator Grant program

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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has tapped local small business leader Ahmad Goree to help lead the SBA’s $16.2 billion grant program to provide financial assistance to live entertainment small businesses, nonprofits and venues to get back on track from being hit hard by COVID-19.

SBA Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG) program

Goree works as a Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG) Operations Lead overseeing personnel matters for the nearly 300 federal employees assigned to the program and SVOG weekly messaging to the SBA’s 68 field offices and 1,400 resource partner network across the country.

The SVOG program is administrated out of SBA’s Headquarters Office of Disaster Assistance in Washington, DC. So far, the SVOG program has granted more than $9.7 billion to more than 11,000 venues nationally.

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In Texas, 681 grants have been awarded worth more than $766 million.

Goree previously served as Lead Economic Development Specialist and Public Information Officer in the SBA’s Dallas/Fort Worth District Office based in Euless, where he oversaw economic development activity, outreach, marketing and media relations across 72 Texas counties.

The SVOG program was appropriated more than $16.2 billion for grants via the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, and the American Rescue Plan Act. Of these funds, at least $2 billion is reserved for eligible SVOG applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue up to a maximum amount of $10 million for a single grant. 

“As person who grew up enjoying the arts, it is an honor to be a part of a great program to help this industry get back up and running to provide the entertainment so many of us enjoy,” said Goree. “I’ve had the chance to hear from several venues who expressed how thankful they are for the SVOG grant and the SBA. This is what makes the work even more worthwhile.”

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Goree was named a Fort Worth Business Press Forty Under Forty honoree this year.

Goree joined the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Dallas/Fort Worth District Office in 2010.

Since 2015, Goree’s outreach via the SBA helped generate more than $6.6 billion to small businesses and creating more than 50,000 jobs in the DFW area.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he worked hard to provide outreach and assistance to DFW area business communities on the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which helped more than 100,000 businesses get more than $6 billion to recover.

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He was a panelist on two Fort Worth Business Press Webinars where he answered questions from small businesses seeking information on finding aid during the pandemic.

Additionally, Goree serves as the public information officer for the district handling all media related activity. He has managed media relations for five presidential cabinet members during their visits to the DFW area.

– FWBP Staff