The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.
Some Key Takeaways About the Shuttered Venue Operations Grant (SVOG)
- The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOGs) program, established as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 to provide economic relief to shuttered live venues, was scheduled to begin accepting grant applications on April 8, 2021.
- The program will distribute more than $16 billion in grants of up to $10 million equal to 45% of an eligible venue’s gross earned revenue.
- Eligible applicants with up to 50 employees can draw from a special $2 billion reserve fund.
- Applications will be sorted into three priority periods for venues that suffered COVID-related economic loss ranging from 25% to 90% or greater.
- Grants are expected to be disbursed beginning before the end of April 2021.
- Grant funds may be used for specific listed expenses only.
Eligibility for a SVOG
Eligible entities include:
- Live venue operators or promoters
- Theatrical producers
- Live performing arts organization operators
- Museum operators
- Motion picture theater operators (including owners)
- Talent representatives
Other requirements of note:
- Must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020
- Venue or promoter who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount
Even if your venue would be otherwise eligible, it would not be considered for a grant if any of the following apply:4
- It does not have a place of business located in the United States, does not operate primarily within the U.S., and does not make a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials, or labor.
- It was not in operation as of Feb. 29, 2020.
- It is a publicly traded corporation or is majority-owned and controlled by a publicly traded corporation.
- It presents live performances or sells products or services of a prurient sexual nature.
- More than 10% of its 2019 gross revenue came from the federal government (not counting disaster assistance)
- It owns or operates venues, theaters, museums, or talent agencies in more than one country; owns or operates venues, theatres, museums, or talent agencies in more than ten states; AND it had more than 500 employees as of Feb. 29, 2020.
- Five other firms with which it is affiliated have already received SVOG awards.
- It is a museum, and other museums with which it is affiliated have already received $10 million in SVOG funding.
Important: Due to technical difficulties, SBA has temporarily suspended the SVOG application portal, which was scheduled to open April 8, 2021. SBA says it will share advance notice of the time and date before the reopening so all applicants can be prepared. You may continue to register for a new account.
For more information on the SVOG, please check out the IRS directly.
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