Government pledges to fix a stricken relief program for live-event businesses.

Tracy T, Chief Executive Officer Band of Mothers Media, which is on a one-woman comedy tour, received an email from the SBA last week with the same news that has upset thousands of venue owners and producers across the country. “Your name,” the email said, “appears in the Do Not Pay with Match Source DMF list.”

Translated from bureaucratic jargon, it told Ms T that she was presumed dead.

“We are in debt over Wazoo,” said Ms. T. “We can’t afford to put the show back on the road because there’s no cash.”

Like almost all producers, Band of Mothers – which calls “Mom’s Night Out” music and comedy event “The Pump and Dump Show” – was hit by the pandemic last year, and has had little opportunity for revenue since then. . In early 2020, the company employed 13 people – most of whom were mothers of young children – but has since reduced its workforce to two.

After receiving the email, Ms. T launched a Kafkaesque effort to falsify government information. He called the Social Security Administration, which he said was unhelpful. An operator at her local office was friendly but said: “I think you’re being spammed or scammed,” Ms. T recalled.

The Small Business Administration has said little about the problem publicly. But in correspondence between applicants, the agency has acknowledged that the problem appears to be the result of a conflict between employee identification numbers, which apply to businesses and nonprofit groups, and Social Security numbers, which apply to individuals. If a company has the same employee identification number as the deceased person, the agency flagged that application as flawed.

SBA spokeswoman Wilkerson said the agency is working to address the problem and move applications forward. Mr Kelly said on Thursday’s call that applicants should finally see the results of those efforts – and a wave of approvals – next week, according to participants on the call.

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