If you’re a venue that was hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic — and almost all of them were — the U.S. Small Business Administration said help is on the way.
On Friday, the SBA launched a splash page for the Shuttered Venue Operators grant application portal — which will have access to more than $16 billion worth of grants. The application period will open April 8.
On March 30, the SBA will host a national informational webinar to highlight the application process for potential eligible entities, from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
Those interested in participating can register here.
SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said her organization is eager to help.
“The SBA has worked diligently to build the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program from the ground up to assist and address the diverse eligibility requirements of each type of applicant,” she said. “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.
“This vital economic aid will provide a much-needed lifeline for live venues, museums, movie theaters and many more.”
The SVOG program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, which appropriated $15 billion for it. The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden 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.
To ensure eligible venues do not miss a window to receive assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, the American Rescue Plan Act also amended the SVOG program so entities that apply for a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020, can also apply for an SVOG, with the eligible entity’s SVOG to be reduced by the PPP loan amount. The PPP loan applications have been updated to reflect this.
As the SBA builds and prepares to open the program, the dedicated SBA website, www.sba.gov/svogrant, which includes frequently asked questions, video tutorials and other SVOG details, is the best source for information for those looking to apply for a grant.
To prepare in advance of the SVOG application portal opening April 8, potential applicants should get registered in the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM.gov), as this is required for an entity to receive an SVOG, and reference the preliminary application checklist and eligibility requirements.