Shuttered Venue Grant Program Open

April 26, 2021

Live performance venues, as well as movie theaters and museums, were hard hit by the pandemic, which forced them to close across the country last year. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) signed into law in December 2020 was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act.

The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues—including operators of live venues, live performing arts organizations, museums and movie theatres, along with live venue promoters, theatrical producers and talent representatives, and is to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

The SVOG program was supposed to begin accepting applications on April 8, but has been stalled due to technical glitches. The SBA announced the application portal reopened on Saturday, April 24. 

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45 percent of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

Now that the applications are open, the SBA is accepting SVOG applications on a first-in, first-out basis and allocating applicants to respective priority periods as it receives applications. The SBA is expected to allocate funds in three tranches, prioritized based on entities’ revenue lost due to the pandemic.  The first two weeks’ awards will be granted to entities with 90 percent or more loss of revenue between April and December 2020 due to the pandemic. The second two weeks will be devoted to grants with 70 percent or more loss of revenue between April and December 2020. After those periods, the awards will go to entities that suffered a revenue loss of 25 percent or more between one quarter of 2019 and the corresponding quarter of 2020.

The SBA hosted a webinar to describe the application process to potential recipients of the grants, and is also providing recurring updates and information through frequently asked questionsvideo tutorials, an application checklist and eligibility requirements on its dedicated SVOG website.