February 19th Information &
Resource Update
SBA Shuttered Venue Operator Grants

Recent federal stimulus legislation created the Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) grant program, a $15 billion effort to be administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% 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.

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

  • Is an entity that applied for and received a Paycheck Protection Program loan in July 2020 eligible to apply for an SVO? Yes, if an entity applied and was approved for a PPP loan prior to Dec. 27, 2020, it is eligible to apply for an SVOG.
  • Is an entity that applied for a First Draw or Second Draw PPP loan on or after Dec. 27, 2020, eligible to apply for an SVOG? No. Both examples would not be eligible to apply for an SVO unless and until the PPP loan application (whether First Draw or Second Draw) is declined.
  • Can an entity apply for a PPP loan now and decide later on the loan if it did not receive an SVO? At what stage is a PPP loan considered “received”? No. Per the Economic Aid Act, as well as how the PPP loan system operates, entities cannot apply for a PPP loan and SVO at the same time. Entities must make an informed business decision as to which program will most benefit them and apply accordingly. If an applicant is rejected by one program, it will then be eligible to apply for the other.
  • What can an entity do to get ready to apply? As the SBA works on building the application platform, it would be in your best interest to register for a DUNS number so you can then register in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov). Also, gather documents that demonstrate your number of employees and monthly revenues so you can calculate the average number of qualifying employees you had over the prior 12 months. Lastly, determine the extent of gross earned revenue loss you experienced between 2019 and 2020. This and additional information such as floor plans, contract copies and other evidence will be needed to apply for an SVO.

MetroWest Visitors Bureau Launches Mini-Grant Program

The MetroWest Visitors Bureau (MWVB) has announced a new mini-grant program funded through the MWVB and the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT). The MWVB will consider mini-grant applications for projects devoted to marketing a MetroWest event, attraction, business, service, cultural, or recreational offering, including virtual and online projects.

Grant applications close April 1st. Projects must be completed by June 30th, 2021. Grants will be awarded in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $15,000.

Eligible applicants must be a member in good standing of the MWVB to qualify for mini-grants; however, organizations which are not current members may have their grant application serve as their membership application and have the cost of membership subtracted from their grant award. Membership rates can be viewed here. Applicants must be operating within MWVB’s designated region to qualify; communities included are Ashland, Bellingham, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Medway, Milford, Millis, Natick, Northborough, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland, and Westborough.

One of sixteen Regional Tourism Councils in Massachusetts, the MetroWest Visitors Bureau participates in the state’s MyLocalMA campaign encouraging Massachusetts residents to eat, shop and stay local. This independent nonprofit organization markets the region’s cultural and recreational venues, retailers, restaurants, accommodations, and educational and other services to visitors and residents alike.

MBTA Service Reductions: Public Meeting, Environmental Impact

Towards the end of 2020, the MBTA began executing a suite of service cuts as part of its “Forging Ahead” initiative. Resulting service reductions are likely to remain in place for several years. Effective April 5th, weekend service will be eliminated on the Fitchburg and Franklin commuter rail lines, among others.

Ahead of these changes, the MBTA will host a virtual public meeting on February 24th, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. This meeting will provide an opportunity for riders to learn more about the changes and ask questions. Click here to register for the February 24th public meeting.

The MBTA Community Engagement team received inquiries regarding the environmental impact of the proposed changes during the Forging Ahead process. The MBTA will undergo an environmental review process to analyze these impacts on riders and places. On February 23rd at 6:00 PM the Forging Ahead Service Level Reduction Environmental Notification Form (ENF) Consultation Session will be held. The public is invited to attend this meeting, where staff will describe the proposed changes, potential impacts and mitigation, and answer clarifying questions. Attendees will have the opportunity to provide comments on the environmental issues and impacts of the Spring service changes. Click here to join this virtual meeting as it begins on February 23rd.

MAPC Offering New Round of Accelerating Climate Resiliency Grants

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is offering another round of its Accelerating Climate Resiliency Grants to help municipalities advance strategies that protect people, places, and communities from the impacts of climate change. The intent is to deploy actionable resilience interventions through local projects, policies, and strategies. Funded projects will facilitate long-term innovative changes that lead to greater readiness for climate change. In particular, MAPC seeks to elevate projects that will advance climate equity, regional coordination, and social cohesion. MAPC’s Accelerating Climate Resiliency Municipal Grant program is supported by the Barr Foundation.

The 101 cities and towns located within the MAPC service region are eligible to apply. Multi-municipal collaboration and partnerships with non-profits and community-based organizations are strongly encouraged.

Grant awards are for one year, in amounts ranging from $15,000 to $50,000. The deadline to submit questions via email regarding the opportunity is February 24th; applications are due February 26th. Click here to download the full RFP.
Transportation Committee Meeting March 4th

The Transportation Committee of the 495/MetroWest Partnership will meet on Thursday, March 4th at 8:30 AM. Our featured speaker at the meeting will be Barry Lorion, District Highway Director for District 3, who will discuss regional roadway projects both upcoming and underway. The meeting will take place remotely via Zoom. Click here to register for the meeting; our Transportation Committee meetings are open to all interested persons, with advance registration.

The 495/MetroWest Partnership’s Transportation Committee focuses on regional mobility and enhancing transportation options in the region, addressing areas such as municipal roads and bridges, highway infrastructure, traffic congestion, commuter rail, regional transportation authorities, transit modernization and long-term visioning, interagency coordination, workforce transportation, complete streets projects, and transportation policy.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you:
Jason Palitsch, Executive Director
(774) 760-0495 x105

Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthening our region.