Included as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act signed into law on December 27, 2020, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (“SVOG”) provides targeted relief to eligible entities that were in operation as of February 29, 2020. The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) changes some of the provisions of the SVOG.

Further guidance about the grant program has yet to be released, but below is what we know now.

What is an eligible entity for purposes of this program?

Eligible entities include:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organizations
  • Museums
  • Motion picture theatres
  • Talent representatives

I own/operate a mobile entity with no fixed performance space, am I eligible?

MKS: No, the entity must have a defined performance and audience space. However, if you have a portable facility (i.e. circus tent, movable stage, etc.) that travels with your operation, you may qualify.


Is a wedding/event venue eligible to apply for the SVOG?

MKS: Unfortunately, we think not. It’s likely that wedding venue operators would fail to meet multiple eligibility requirements such as sale of tickets, promotion of events to the public, defined audiences, etc.). However, until we have the chance to observe and review the application process, we can’t be certain.


Is a restaurant that features live music eligible to apply for the SVOG?

MKS: No. If the principal line of business is the food and beverage service, the entity would not be eligible. Fortunately, there is a separate grant program to support restaurants which we have written extensively on in another post on our website (Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grants).


Can I receive a grant from the SVOG as well as the Restaurant Revitalization Fund?

MKS: No, an applicant receiving a grant from one program will be ineligible for the other.


I received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, can I still apply for the SVOG?

MKS: Yes. Initially, PPP borrowers were not eligible to also receive funding from the SVOG, forcing eligible applicants to choose between the two. This was a difficult decision given the lucrative nature of the “potential” shuttered venue grants pitted against the more familiar PPP loans. The ARPA now allows interplay between the two programs.


How is the grant amount determined?

MKS: The calculation appears fairly simple – 45% of 2019 gross earned revenue, capped at $10M.


If I received a PPP loan, how will this affect my potential grant from the SVOG?

MKS: Any PPP loan amount will be deducted from the grant calculation noted above. However, an important note is that any PPP loans received PRIOR to December 27, 2020 will not factor into the calculation. No PPP loan received since December 27, 2020 = no issues.


What can the grant funds be used for?

MKS: Payroll costs, rent payments, utilities, scheduled mortgage payments, etc. A complete list of eligible expenses can be found here.


I believe I am eligible, how and when can I apply for the SVOG?

MKS: The application process is expected to begin in early April 2021 per the Small Business Administration (“SBA”). We encourage anyone interested to frequent the SVOG page on the SBA site daily.

Entities that suffered the greatest economic loss will be the first applications processed:

  • First priority (initial 14 days of grant awards) will be for entities that suffered a 90% or greater revenue loss between April 2020 and December 2020
  • Second priority (next 14 days of grant awards) will be for entities that suffered a 70% or greater revenue loss between April 2020 and December 2020
  • Third priority (beginning 28 days after program commences) will be for entities that suffered a 25% or greater revenue loss from one quarter in 2019 to the corresponding quarter in 2020

What can I do to prepare for the application process?

MKS: Below are a few suggestions we have for those who intend to apply for the shuttered venue grants. Items 1 and 2 below are immediate action items that can be done now to prepare and are free.
  1. Register for a Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS) number. This number will be needed to register in the government’s System for Award Management (SAM). You can obtain this free via the D&B website, and if unsure whether your business already has this number, the website also features a business lookup. Please keep in mind that this may take 2-3 days to receive.
  2. With a DUNS number, apply for registration in SAM. This quick start guide will provide the information needed to register. Please note the estimated time to receive approval in the SAM system can take up to two weeks.
  3. Determine your gross revenue loss from 2019 to 2020.
  4. Gather the following financial documents that may be needed to accompany an application:
    a. 2019 Tax Return
    b. 2020 Tax Return (if filed)
    c. Quarterly income statements for 2019 and 2020, signed by a primary officer of the entity
    d. Payroll reports
    e. 2019 audited financial statements (if applicable)