Recent federal stimulus legislation created the Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) grant program, a $15 billion effort to be administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO 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.
Applications for the program are expected to open in the coming days; interested potential applicants should sign up at this link for an email alert, to be notified when the application period begins.
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, and
- Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements
SBA has published Frequently Asked Questions guidance for this program, available for download at this link. Key highlights:
- Is an entity that applied for and received a Paycheck Protection Program loan in July 2020 eligible to apply for an SVO? Yes, if an entity applied and was approved for a PPP loan prior to Dec. 27, 2020, it is eligible to apply for an SVOG.
- Is an entity that applied for a First Draw or Second Draw PPP loan on or after Dec. 27, 2020, eligible to apply for an SVOG? No. Both examples would not be eligible to apply for an SVO unless and until the PPP loan application (whether First Draw or Second Draw) is declined.
- Can an entity apply for a PPP loan now and decide later on the loan if it did not receive an SVO? At what stage is a PPP loan considered “received”? No. Per the Economic Aid Act, as well as how the PPP loan system operates, entities cannot apply for a PPP loan and SVO at the same time. Entities must make an informed business decision as to which program will most benefit them and apply accordingly. If an applicant is rejected by one program, it will then be eligible to apply for the other.
- What can an entity do to get ready to apply? As the SBA works on building the application platform, it would be in your best interest to register for a DUNS number so you can then register in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov). Also, gather documents that demonstrate your number of employees and monthly revenues so you can calculate the average number of qualifying employees you had over the prior 12 months. Lastly, determine the extent of gross earned revenue loss you experienced between 2019 and 2020. This and additional information such as floor plans, contract copies and other evidence will be needed to apply for an SVO.