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March 25, 2021

Shuttered Venue Opportunity Grants Offer COVID-19 Relief for Entertainment Venues

Updated 4/26/2021

As part of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act signed into law in December 2020, the Shuttered Venue Opportunity Grant (SVOG) was created to offer COVID-19 relief to entertainment venues. The American Rescue Plan allocated an additional $1.25 billion to the program, bringing the total funding available to $16 billion.

Who is eligible for a SVOG?

According to the SBA, the following organizations may apply for a SVOG as long as they were in operation as of February 29, 2020:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Museum operators
  • Motion picture theatre operators
  • Talent representatives

How much can I apply for?

Eligible organizations can apply for a grant equal to 45% of gross revenue, up to $10 million. $2 billion of SVOG funding is allocated for eligible organizations with up to 50 full-time employees.

What can SVOG funds be used for?

According to the SBA, SVOG funds may be used for:

  • 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 per 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 primary use of funds)

Organizations with SVOG funding should maintain good recordkeeping including receipts for three years following the receipt of the grant and four years of employment records.

Can I apply for a SVOG if I have a PPP loan?

Organizations that received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan on or after December 27, 2020 can also apply for a SVOG, but the SVOG amount will be reduced by the amount of the PPP loan. Those who received a PPP loan before December 27, 2020 can apply for a SVOG without deducting the PPP loan amount.

How can I apply for a SVOG?

Applications can now be submitted through the SBA’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Application portal. Please note that the portal is moving slowly due to high volume.

Our advisors are closely following COVID-19 relief efforts and will continue to publish insights to keep you informed. Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for more resources. To discuss your situation and recovery options, contact an Anders advisor below.

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