Live venue operators, theater owners, producers, promoters, and other similar entities have been eagerly waiting for a chance to apply for grants of up to $10 million from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program.
The $16 billion Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, originally known as the Save Our Stages Act, was passed into law on December 27th, 2020 but has faced several setbacks.
After the portal to the grant program was shut down a few hours from opening on April 8 due to technical difficulties, the SBA announced Thursday that these issues had been resolved.
Originally slated to kick off on Saturday, April 24, the SVOG program was pushed back until Monday, April 26 after blowback by potential applicants concerning Shabbat and hardship imposed on parents who would need to find childcare.
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program officially went live on Monday, April 26, as scheduled, and received over 17,000 applications in the first 24 hours of the portal opening, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA did not disclose when grant money will be allocated according to Broadway News.
Who can apply?
According to sba.gov, eligible entities include: Live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theater operators (including owners), and talent representatives.
These entities are eligible as long as they have been in operation as of February 29, 2020. Venues and promoters who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount.
How much grant money is my business qualified to receive?
According to sba.gov, grant amounts for an eligible entity in operation on January 1, 2019, will be equal to 45 percent of their 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 you were in operation during 2019 multiplied by six, or $10 million, whichever is less.
How can I apply?
You can apply here for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. However, your application may take some time to request depending on the severity of gross revenue loss by your entity.
According to the SBA, the priority level for grantees are as follows:
First Priority — Entities that suffered a 90% or greater gross revenue loss between April 2020 through December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These entities will be awarded in the first 14 days of grant awards.
Second Priority — Entities that suffered a 70% or greater gross revenue loss between April 2020 through December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These entities will be awarded in the next 14 days of grant awards after first priority awards are made.
Third Priority — Entities that suffered a 25% or greater earned revenue loss between one quarter of 2019 and the corresponding quarter of 2020. These entities will be awarded beginning 28 days after the first and second priority awards are made.
Supplemental Funding — Recipients of first, second, and third priority round awards who suffered a 70% or greater revenue loss for the most recent calendar quarter (as of April 1, 2021, or later). These entities will be awarded after all Priority Periods have passed.
How can I use the grant funds?
The funds allocated by the SVOG program have to be used for specific expenses, which include:
- Payroll costs
- Rent payments
- Utility payments
- Scheduled mortgage payments (not including prepayment of principal)
- Scheduled debt payments (not including prepayment of principal on any indebtedness incurred in the ordinary course of business prior to February 15, 2020)
- Worker protection expenditures
- Payments to independent contractors (not to exceed $100,000 in annual compensation for an individual employee of an independent contractor)
- Other ordinary and necessary business expenses, including maintenance costs
- Administrative costs (including fees and licensing)
- State and local taxes and fees
- Operating leases in effect as of February 15, 2020
- Insurance payments
- Advertising, production transportation, and capital expenditures related to producing a theatrical or live performing arts production. (May not be the primary use of funds)
According to the SBA, grantees may not use award funds to:
- Buy real estate
- Make payments on loans originated after February 15, 2020
- Make investments or loans
- Make contributions or other payments to, or on behalf of, political parties, political committees, or candidates for election
- Pay for any other use prohibited by the Administrator
If you are awarded a grant by the SVOG program, don’t forget to maintain documentation demonstrating your business’s compliance with the eligibility and other requirements of the SVOG program. Your business is also required to retain employment records for four years following the receipt of a grant and retain all other records for three years.
Is your business eligible for SVOG program funds? Here’s how you can prepare to ask for a grant:
- Register on the portal, as stated above. Applicants will need a smartphone and a multifactor authenticator app to register and apply.
- Review the FAQ and Application User Guide for the SVOG.
- Go to the Application Checklist and prepare the required documentation.
With Covid-19 cases decreasing and vaccinations rising around the country, some states are beginning to ease restrictions. For example, North Carolina plans to lift capacity and gathering restrictions by June 1 — which is good news for Charlotte Convention Center and other event venues in the state. Nevada also has plans to lift gathering restrictions by June, with local counties deciding capacity limits for events beginning May 1. It will certainly be good to see Las Vegas Convention Center bustling with life again. New York and California are also planning to ease restrictions, but in a smaller capacity than the rest of the country.
Cut expenses by renting technology
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*We are a Business to Business (B2B) rental firm. All rental orders must be placed by an authorized representative of a qualified business. First-time business customers are screened for compliance to ensure the order is legitimate and authorized. In short, you must be a business that has been established for a minimum of 2 years with an email address connected to a corotate domain and a ship to address that also meets our requirements. To see the full requirements, visit our Requirements to Rent page.