American Rescue Plan Act set aside $16 billion in grants for shuttered entertainment venues and similar entities
SBA will begin accepting Shuttered Venue Operators Grant applications on April 8
Live venue operators, promoters, theatrical producers, motion picture theater operators, talent representatives, and others are eligible for the special loan
A critical Small Business Association (SBA) grant program defined within the American Rescue Plan Act – signed into law last month – targets the entertainment industry and will begin accepting applications on April 8. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) offers assistance to operators who have had to shut down their entertainment businesses and other venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the SBA, the following groups are eligible for this grant if they were in operation on Jan. 1, 2019:
Live venue operators or promoters
Live performing arts organization operators
Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
Motion picture theater operators
Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements
These groups will be eligible to receive the lesser of 45% gross earned revenue or $10 million. Entities who began operating after Jan. 1, 2019, may still be eligible for funds.
Once the applications are open, the SBA is expected to allocate funds in three tranches, prioritized based on entities’ revenue lost due to the pandemic. The first two weeks’ awards will be granted to entities with 90% or more loss of revenue, the second two weeks will be devoted to grants with 70% or more loss of revenue, and entities with 25% or more revenue loss will be eligible in the final tranche of grants.
Like the Paycheck Protection Program of 2020, the funds from the SVOG can be used on operating expenses such as payroll, mortgage/rent, utilities, worker protection expenditures, insurance payments, and other costs. The $16 billion devoted to the SVOG program is expected to be distributed quickly; eligible recipients should consider preparing now for the April 8 application portal opening.