The “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021”—legislation enacted December 27, 2020—provides funding for various coronavirus (COVID-19) relief programs, including $15 billion for the “Shuttered Venue Operators” (SVO) grant program which is administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Venue operators considering applying for SVO grants need to be aware that SVO grants will not be available if the venue operator has filed an application or received support under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) after December 27, 2020. (However, receipt of PPP funding earlier in 2020 will not prevent eligibility for SVO grants.)
The PPP is another program administered by the SBA to provide financial support lending for small and large businesses pursuant to measures originally included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (Pub. L. No. 116-136).
The SBA released a set of “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) [PDF 357 KB] about the SVO grant program. Refer to FAQs 4, 5 and 6 in the “Eligibility” section of the FAQs regarding eligibility of venue operators and the rules about the intersection with PPP applications.
The process for filing applications for grants under the SVO program is not yet open, and when the application process opens, it will be based on a priority system (briefly described below).
The SVO grant program is available to make grants to eligible live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators or talent representatives who demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in revenues.
There is a set-aside of $2 billion for eligible entities that employ not more than 50 full-time employees in the first 59 days.
The Small Business Administration (which is charged with managing the SVO program much as it has the PPP) may make an initial grant of up to $10 million dollars to an eligible person or entity and a supplemental grant that is equal to 50% of the initial grant.
The application process will open to applicants as follows:
The SVO grants are to be used for specified expenses such as payroll costs, rent, utilities, and personal protective equipment.
More information about the SVO program is available on the SBA website.
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