If you are a business that relies heavily on events such as a theater, museum, or other live venue operator, there is an opportunity for you to apply for grants to help offset some of the economic hardship that you’ve endured over the past year. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is currently building a program which will allow you to apply for a grant from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program.

The SVOG was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act and includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

Eligible entities include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives
  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements

Other items of note:

  • Must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020.
  • Venue or promoter who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount.

Grant amounts will reflect either of the following instances:

  • For an eligible entity in operation on January 1, 2019, grants will be for an amount equal to 45% of its 2019 gross earned revenue OR $10 million, whichever is less.
  • For an eligible entity that began operation after January 1, 2019, grants will be for the average monthly gross earned revenue for each full month it was in operation during 2019 multiplied by six (6) OR $10 million, whichever is less.

The SBA is building the grant program and expects to open applications in early April. Grants will first be awarded to those hit hardest by economic loss. The SBA issued a proposed schedule to list out which applicants will be prioritized in the first and second periods. You can visit the SBA website for a full breakdown of the proposed plan as well as read about frequently asked questions and view a preliminary application checklist.

If you have any questions about whether this may apply to your business, please contact your BMSS professional and we can walk through your unique circumstances to help evaluate eligibility.

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