COVID-19 Business Disaster Recovery Assistance

Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant Program

As part of the Economic Aid Act, the SBA is offering a special grant program to provide a critical lifeline for the nation’s shuttered venue operators, including move theaters, art venues, and movie theaters.

Note: Applications for the SVO program are not yet being accepted by the SBA.

What is it?

The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established by The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to eligible live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theater operators, or talent representatives that have experienced at least a 25% drop in revenue.

Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. Two billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

Am I eligible?

Eligible entities include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives, and
  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements

Other requirements of note:

  • Must have been in operation as of Feb. 29, 2020
  • Venue or promoter must not have received a PPP loan on or after Dec. 27, 2020
  • Can have an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or plan to apply for one and receive the grant
  • Can have a First Draw PPP loan prior to December 27, 2021 and receive the grant

What can a SVOG be used for?

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 02-15-20)
  • Worker protection expenditures
  • Payments to independent contractors (not to exceed $100K in annual compensation per contractor)
  • Other ordinary and necessary business expenses, including maintenance costs
  • Administrative costs (incl. fees and licensing)
  • State and local taxes and fees
  • Operating leases in effect as of 02-15-20
  • Insurance payments
  • Advertising, production transportation, and capital expenditures related to producing a theatrical or live performing arts production.  (May not be primary use of funds.)

Entities may not use funds to purchase real estate, pay interest on loans originated after February 15, 2020, to invest or re-lend, political contributions, or other use prohibited by the program administrator.

How do I calculate my grant?

Grant amount will be either:

  • For an eligible entity 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.
  • For an eligible entity that began operation after January 1, 2019, grants will be for the average monthly gross revenue for each full month you were in operation during 2019 multiplied by six (6) OR $10 million, whichever is less.

How will applications be prioritized?

  • First Priority Grant: In the initial 14 days of the program, grants will be exclusively made to those with 90% or greater revenue loss from: April 2020 through December 2020
  • Second Priority Grant: In the second 14 days, grants will be to those with 70% or greater revenue loss from: April 2020 through December 2020
  • Third Priority Grant: Entities that suffered a 25% or greater revenue loss between April 2020 through December 2020 (28 days after First & Second Priority Awards are made)
  • Unrestricted-Non-Priority Round: Eligible entities of any size that suffered a 25% or greater revenue loss (61 days after initial grant awards)

When can I apply?

The SBA is in the process of setting up the grant program and is not yet accepting applications. Small businesses who have suffered the greatest economic loss will be the first applications processed.

When can I do to get ready to apply?

As the SBA works on building the application platform, it would be in your best interest to register for a DUNS number so you can then register in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov). Also, gather documents that demonstrate your number of employees and monthly revenues so you can calculate the average number of qualifying employees you had over the prior 12 months. Lastly, determine the extent of gross earned revenue loss you experienced between 2019 and 2020.This and additional information such as floor plans, contract copies and other evidence will be needed to apply for an SVOG.

Have questions?

For more information, please visit the SBA’s website, email SBA at SVOGrant@sba.gov or view the SBA”s frequently asked questions.

As always, the Florida SBDC Network is here to help your small business recover. For questions about the program and for application assistance, contact the Florida SBDC Network office nearest you.