The Small Business Administration today launched a notification system for its long-awaited Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. The agency won’t be taking in applications until April 8, but venue operators who want to be notified when applications open can sign up through the newly launched page.
“The SBA knows these venues are critical to America’s economy and understands how hard they’ve been impacted, as they were among the first to shutter,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a written statement. “This vital economic aid will provide a much-needed lifeline for live venues, museums, movie theatres and many more.”
To qualify, venues must have live events as one of their principle business activities, paying a share of ticket revenues or cover charges to performers. Movie theaters, museums and talent agencies also qualify, but venues that offer live performances of a “prurient sexual nature,” such as strip clubs, do not. Venues owned by a publicly listed company that operates in more than one country or more than 10 states, has over 500 employees or received 10% of gross revenue from federal funding in 2019 also do not qualify.
Music and event venues have been hit hard by the pandemic, with little reprieve in sight, even as the city has progressed to a less restrictive tier in the state’s system, allowing some businesses to reopen, expand capacity and once again allow customers indoors.
In preparation for the soon-to-start application period, the SBA is hosting a webinar on the application process at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30. Those interested in participating can register here.
The grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, which appropriated $15 billion to help these businesses. The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law on March 11, appropriated an additional $1.25 billion, bringing the program funding to a total of $16.25 billion, with more than $16 billion allocated for grants.
Businesses that have applied for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program are still eligible to apply for grants, following an amendment made in the American Rescue Plan Act. Businesses that applied for a PPP loan after Dec. 27 can apply for a grant, the amount of which will be reduced by the PPP loan amount, according to the SBA.