Operators of live venues and performing arts organizations that experienced a 25% loss or more due to the pandemic can apply for $16.2 billion in Shuttered Venue Operators Grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration starting at noon on April 8.
Awards are expected to begin in late April.
Museums and movie theaters are also eligible for the grants, as well as live venue promoters, theatrical producers and talent representatives.
“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,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman in a prepared statement. “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.”
The SVOG program was created with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act and the American Rescue Plan Act.
At least $2 billion in funding is reserved for applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue up to a maximum amount of $10 million for a single grant, the SBA announced.
SVOG applications will be accepted on a first-in, first-out basis; and the SBA is allocating applicants to respective priority periods as it receives applications.
The first 14 days of the award period will be dedicated to providing grants to those that experienced a 90% or greater revenue loss between April and December due to the pandemic. The second 14 days will include entities that suffered a 70% or greater revenue loss in that time. Thereafter, SVOG awards will include applicants that suffered a 25% or greater revenue loss between one quarter of 2019 and the corresponding quarter of 2020.
The SBA consulted industry partners such as the National Independent Venue Association, National Association of Theatre Owners, and National Independent Talent Organization to design the SVOG program.