Dear APAP Members,

BREAKING NEWS: President Joe Biden has just signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, paving the way for much needed COVID-19-related relief and support for the recovery. Key details relevant to our industry are outlined below.

But first... we want to share two key items related to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program that go into effect immediately with the American Rescue Plan.

You may now apply for both the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and SVOG. Until now, applying for PPP would disqualify you from receiving SVOG, as it was part of the law. Understandably, many of you have been debating whether to apply now for PPP and forgo SVOG or to wait it out until SVOG opens. (The SBA has advised that it may not open until at least March 31.) The American Rescue Plan addresses this issue, allowing PPP recipients to apply for SVOG, and then deduct the value of their PPP loan from the applicant’s SVOG maximum grant amount (45% of 2019 earned revenue, capped at $10 million). The deadline to apply for any PPP loan is Wednesday, March 31, 2021, so if you have been waiting to apply, time is of the essence.

Another $1.25 billion has been added to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, bringing total funding for the program to $16.25 billion. Plus, an additional $840 million will support the capacity of SBA to administer programs like SVOG.
More about the American Rescue Plan:

Below are select parts of the plan that impact the performing arts.

Paycheck Protection Program: An additional $7.25 billion will be added to the PPP resources, and eligibility changes will allow nonprofits with no more than 500 employees at each location to be eligible for forgivable loans. 

National Endowment for the Arts COVID-19 Relief: The NEA will receive an additional $135 million in dedicated funding, with 40% allocated to states and regions and the remainder supporting direct grants to organizations “that support organizations’ programming and general operating expenses to cover up to 100 percent of the costs of the programs which the grants support, to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the coronavirus.” New dedicated COVID-19 relief funding has also been included for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

Employee Retention Tax Credit: The refundable payroll tax credits that are currently available in the first two quarters of 2021 will be extended through the remainder of the calendar year. 

Emergency Funding for State, Local, Territorial, and Tribal Support: The bill provides $350 billion for state, local, territorial, and tribal support to address COVID-related revenue losses.

Families First Paid Leave and Credits: Paid sick and family leave provisions are expanded and refundable payroll tax credits extended through September 30, 2021. 

Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: Pandemic Unemployment benefits, including the $100 supplement for those with a mix of 1099 and W-2 earnings, are extended through September 6, 2021. Pandemic Unemployment Compensation will be available at $300 per week, through September 6, 2021. The first $10,200 of unemployment insurance benefits will be non-taxable in 2021 for households with an adjusted gross income under $150,000. 

Relief for Nonprofits Self-Insuring Unemployment Benefits: Some nonprofits self-insure unemployment benefits rather than pay state unemployment taxes. The federal government covers 50% of nonprofit liability under the CARES Act, and this relief was extended through March 14, 2021 in the December relief package. This bill continues the 50% coverage through March 31, and then starting April 1 federal relief will cover 75% of nonprofit liability, available through September 6, 2021. 

Thank you to our partners Heather Noonan and Najean Lee at the League of American Orchestras for their apt summary of the above information.

In case you missed it:

As has been its practice, we expect the SBA to post revised FAQs, either tomorrow (Friday, March 12) or sometime this weekend.
We are stronger together.


Lisa Richards Toney
President and CEO, APAP