What is the SVOG (Shuttered Venue Operators Grant)
The SVOG is a grant program created by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-profits, and Venues Act signed into law on December 27, 2020.
The program includes $15 billion in grants to closed (shuttered) entertainment venues. The grant amount is up to 45% of 2019 gross earned revenue up to $10 million.
Of the $15 billion, $2 billion are reserved for smaller entities with up to 50 full-time employees.
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.
- It must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020
- Venue or promoter must not have applied for or received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020
You can apply for an SVOG grant if you received a PPP loan before December 27, 2020. So, if you received a PPP loan in the middle of last year you can apply for a grant. However, you cannot apply now for an SVOG grant and a PPP loan.
If you are applying today, you must choose either the PPP loan or the grant.
The grant may be more attractive in some situations because it can be used for more expenses than the PPP. Acceptable uses of the PPP are:
- 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.)
There are a number of caveats and questions associated with applying for an SVOG, so read through the SBA FAQ here.
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