<img src="theatre" alt="Empty live theatre and music venue">
ComplianceMay 04, 2021

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program provides live venue operators with COVID-19 relief

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program (SVOG) was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, with additional funding allocated by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program provides $16.25 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance. It also reserves $2 billion for eligible businesses with up to 50 full-time employees.

Who is eligible for an SVOG?

Eligible entities of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant include the following:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Museum operators
  • Motion picture theater operators (including owners)
  • Talent representatives

An eligible entity must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020. An entity is not eligible if it is a publicly traded corporation or is majority owned or controlled by a publicly traded corporation.

How much can an eligible entity receive?

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 earned revenue for each full month it was in operation during 2019 multiplied by six, or $10 million, whichever is less.

What can the funds be used for?

Funds may be used for specific expenses, which include the following:

  • Payroll costs
  • Rent payments
  • Utility payments
  • Scheduled mortgage payments
  • Scheduled debt payments
  • Worker protection expenditures
  • Payments to independent contractors (not to exceed $100,000 in annual compensation for an individual employee of an independent contractor)
  • Other ordinary and necessary business expenses, including maintenance costs
  • Administrative costs
  • State and local taxes and fees
  • Operating leases in effect as of February 15, 2020
  • Insurance payments
  • Advertising, production transportation, and capital expenditures related to producing a theatrical or live performing arts production. (May not be the primary use of funds)

The funds cannot be used to do the following:

  • Buy real estate
  • Make payments on loans originated after February 15, 2020
  • Make investments or loans
  • Make contributions or other payments to, or on behalf of, political parties, political committees, or candidates for election
  • Pay for any other use prohibited by the SBA

How to apply

Live venue operators affected by COVID-19 disruptions can apply via the SBA’s SVOG application portal (which opened April 26, 2021). Funds will be disbursed to the applicants who have suffered the greatest losses first and those hurt the least later on.

The application portal is located on the SBA’s website here: Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. The SBA also provides additional information about the SVOG program including regularly updated FAQs, application checklists, and video tutorials.

Sandra Feldman
Publications Attorney
Sandra (Sandy) Feldman has been with CT Corporation since 1985 and has been the Publications Attorney since 1988. Sandy stays on top of the most pressing and pertinent business entity law issues that impact CT customers of all sizes and segments.
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