Update: The application process has been temporarily suspended due to technical difficulties. (Thursday, April 8, 7 pm)
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is opening its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal on April 8.
This grant is intended for business owners who operate live venues, performing arts organization, museums and movie theaters. Other businesses eligible for the grant include live promotion companies, theatrical production companies and talent representation companies.
More than 16.2 billion has been allocated for SVOG grants as part of the American Rescue Plan and the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act.
“Concerts, plays, dance performances, movie premieres, museum exhibits – these are the lifeblood of culture and community, and often the anchor for travel, tourism and neighborhood food and retail stores. We know that for the stage and venue operators across the nation that help make this culture happen, the pandemic has been devastating. Too many have been forced to lower the final curtain on their businesses. Today, with more than $16.2 billion available through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants, help is here,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a statement. “The SBA is committed to moving as quickly as possible to deliver this vital funding effectively and equitably – ensuring relief goes to those venue operators whose revenues have been most impacted by the pandemic.”
To be eligible for the grant, businesses must have been operational on Feb. 29, 2020 and had a gross earned revenue loss of at least 25 percent during any of the four quarters of 2020 that was at least compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019.
Companies cannot be listed on a stock exchange or be majority-owned and controlled by a stock exchange-listed entity. In addition, companies that own/operate venues in more than one country, own/operate venues in more than 10 states or employ more than 500 employees as of Feb. 29, 2020 are not eligible for the grants. Companies applying for the grant cannot be majority-owned or controlled by an entity that received more than 10 percent of gross venue from federal funding during 2019.
Applications for the SVOG grants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The first wave of SVOG grants are expected to begin in late April and will focus on organizations that suffered 90 percent or greater revenue loss from April 2020 to December 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The second wave, making up the next 14 days of the program, will focus on organizations that suffered a 70 percent revue loss during that same time period.
Following these grant waves, the SBA will concentrate on organizations that had a 25 percent revenue loss or greater between one quarter of 2019 and the corresponding quarter in 2020.
The application port will open at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 8. Click here to access the portal.