U.S. Small Business Administration: Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program will provide grants to shuttered venues, including live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums, motion picture theatre operators, and talent representatives. Applicants must meet additional specific criteria, as detailed below under “Eligibility.”

Funds may 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 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

Priority Funding: During the first 59 days of opening SVOG, at least $2 billion of program funding will be reserved for entities that have no more than 50 employees. Additional priorities are as follows:

  • First priority (first 14 days of awards):  Entities that suffered a 90% or greater revenue loss between April 2020 through December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Second priority (next 14 days of awards): Entities that suffered a 70% or greater revenue loss between April 2020 through December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Third priority (beginning 28 days after first and second priority awards are made): Entities that suffered a 25% or greater earned revenue loss between one quarter of 2019 and the corresponding quarter of 2020.
  • Supplemental funding (available after all priority periods have passed): 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).

Priority Funding Note: First and second priorities are going off of gross revenue. Third priority has shift to gross earned revenue. Definitions:
– Gross earned revenue: Monies received from sales of goods or services (does not include grants or donations)
– Gross revenue:Total earned revenue from various sales of services (everything)

Amount: Grant amounts will reflect either of the following instances:

  • Entities in operation on January 1, 2019: grants will be for an amount equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue, OR $10 million, whichever is less.
  • Entities that began operation after January 1, 2019: grants will be for an amount equal to the average monthly gross earned revenue for each full month the organization was in operation during 2019 multiplied by six, OR for $10 million, whichever is less.
  • Note: For entities who received a PPP loan on or after Dec 27, the SVOG will be reduced by PPP loan amount.

Eligibility: A business must satisfy all applicable requirements per category:

1. General requirements:

  • Applicant was fully operational on February 29, 2020.
  • Applicant had gross earned revenue during any of the first, second, third, or fourth quarters in 2020 that demonstrated at least a 25% reduction from the gross earned revenue of such business during the corresponding quarter in 2019.

2. Ownership restrictions:

  • Applicant is not listed on a stock exchange, or majority-owned and controlled by an entity listed on a stock exchange.
  • Applicant does not have, or is not majority-owned and controlled by an entity with, all three of the following characteristics: (a) Owns or operates venues, relevant museums, motion picture theatres, talent agencies, or talent management companies in more than one country; (b) Owns or operates venues, relevant museums, motion picture theatres, talent agencies, or talent management companies in more than ten U.S. States; and (c) Employs more than 500 employees as of February 29, 2020, determined on a full-time equivalent basis.
  • Is not majority owned or controlled by an entity that received more than 10% of gross revenue from Federal funding during 2019, excluding amounts received by such business under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

Requirements by business type:

1. Live Venue Operator or Promoter, Theatrical Producer, or Live Performing Arts Organization Operator

A. Business requirements:

  • One of applicant’s principal business activities is operating or using venues for Eligible Live Events for which (i) a cover charge through ticketing or front door entrance fee is applied, and (ii) performers are paid in an amount that is based on a percentage of sales, a guarantee (in writing or standard contract), or another mutually beneficial formal agreement.
  • Either: (i) At least 70% of applicant’s earned revenue is generated through (to the extent related to a live event as described immediately above) cover charges or ticket sales, production fees or production reimbursements, nonprofit educational initiatives, or the sale of event beverages, food, or merchandise; OR (ii) One of the applicant’s principle business activities is selling tickets to live events, as described immediately above – tickets must be made available for purchase by the public an average of at least 60 days before the date of the event.

B. Operational requirements: Applicant has resumed or intends to resume organizing, promoting, producing, managing, or hosting future Eligible Live Events.

C. Facility requirements:

  • Applicant has a defined performance and audience space.
  • Applicant has mixing equipment, a public address system, and a lighting rig.
  • Applicant engages one or more individuals to carry out not less than two of the following roles: a sound engineer; a booker; a promoter; a stage manager; security personnel; or a box office manager.
    Applicant requires a paid ticket or cover charge to attend most performances, and artists are paid fairly (rather than performing for free or for tips, except for fundraisers or similar charitable events).
  • If owned or operated by a nonprofit entity that produces free events, the Eligible Live Events are produced and managed primarily by paid employees, not by volunteers.
  • Applicant markets performances in printed or electronic publications, on websites, by mass email, or on social media.

2. Motion Picture Theatre Operator

A. Business requirements: One of applicant’s principal business activities is owning and operating at least one place of public accommodation for the purpose of motion picture exhibition for a fee.

B. Operational requirements: Applicant is open or intends to reopen for the primary purpose of public exhibition of motion pictures.

C. Facility Requirements:

  • Applicant has at least one auditorium that includes a motion picture screen and fixed audience seating.
  • Applicant has a projection booth or space containing not less than one motion picture projector.
  • Applicant requires a paid ticket charge to attend exhibition of motion pictures.
  • Applicant markets motion picture exhibitions through showtime listings in printed or electronic publications, on websites, by mass email, or on social media.

3. Museum Operator:

A. Business requirements: Applicant operates museums that are Relevant Museums as its principal business activity.

B. Operational requirements: Applicant is open or intends to reopen.

C. Facility Requirements:

  • Applicant has indoor exhibition spaces that are a component of the principal business activity, and which have been subject to pandemic-related occupancy restrictions.
  • Applicant has at least one auditorium, theatre, or performance or lecture hall with fixed audience seating and regular programming.

4. Talent Representative:

A. Business requirements: At least 70% of applicant’s operations are engaged in representing or managing two or more artists and entertainers.

B. Operational requirements: Applicant is representing or managing artists and entertainers.

Notes:

1. Additional clarification is available on what types of venues qualify, including changes that expand eligibility for certain types of settings. Please see the link below and refer to the SVOG website and FAQs tab regarding changes.

2. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds and SVOG.

  • If an organization applied to PPP prior to Dec 27, it is eligible for SVOG and a PPP award will have no effect on the SVOG award amount.
  • If an organization receives a PPP loan after December 27, 2020, the amount of the PPP loan will be deducted from the SVOG award amount.
  • Organizations will will not be eligible for a PPP loan AFTER they receive an SVOG award.

Deadline: The application portal will open on April 8, 2021. Specific deadlines are TBD.

Link: https://www.svograntportal.sba.gov/s/

Resource Information
Funder U.S. Small Business Administration
Eligibility For Profit Organization, Nonprofit Organization
Resource URL: https://www.svograntportal.sba.gov/s/
Sector Arts & Humanities, COVID-19 Emergency Response
Grant Amount Not Provided