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Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program to Start Accepting Applications April 8

April 1, 2021


The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is set to start accepting applications to its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program starting April 8.

The $15 billion SVOG program was created to assist shuttered live venues, theaters, museums, and zoos operating at significantly reduced capacity or shuttered all together due to locally implemented Covid-prevention measures and was signed into law December 27, 2020, with the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act.

The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law March 11, 2021, appropriated an additional $1.25 billion and amended the program to allow entities that applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan after December 27, 2020, to also be eligible for the grant.

Approved grants will be equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue or $10 million, whichever is less.

Grants from this program may be used on expenses incurred during the period beginning March 1, 2020, and ending December 31, 2021. The funds can be used for payroll costs, rent, utilities, interest or principal on mortgage obligations, payments to independent contractors and operating expenses (including maintenance, insurance, advertising, operating leases and state and local taxes).

The following expenditures are prohibited: the purchase of real estate; mortgage payments on debt originating after February 15, 2020; investments; and expenditures that are of a political nature.

Entities eligible to apply for an SVOG include “live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theater operators, and talent representatives.” Applicants must also have been in operation as of February 29, 2020; intend to reopen; and be able to demonstrate a reduction in revenues of at least 25 percent as compared with the previous year (calculated on a quarterly basis). For further information on qualifying entities, please reference our December article on the subject.

Non-eligible entities include the following:

  • Entities not in operation as of February 29, 2020.
  • Entities that do not have a place of business located in the US, do not operate primarily within the US, and do not make a significant contribution to the US economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials, or labor.
  • Entities that are publicly traded corporations, or entities majority owned and controlled by publicly traded corporations.
  • Entities that present live performances or sell products or services of a prurient sexual nature.
  • Entities that had more than 10 percent of 2019 gross revenue coming from the federal government (excluding disaster assistance).
  • Entities that own or operate venues, theaters, museums, or talent agencies in more than one country; owns or operates venues, theaters, museums, or talent agencies in more than ten states; and had more than 500 employees as of February 29, 2020.

Potential SVOG applicants must register at SAM.gov for the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM) to receive an SVOG and obtain a Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) number.

If you believe you may qualify for a SVOG and you have questions, please reach out to your Clark Schaefer Hackett advisor.

All content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Matters discussed in this article are subject to change. For up-to-date information on this subject please contact a Clark Schaefer Hackett professional. Clark Schaefer Hackett will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this site.


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