March 15, 2021
On Wednesday March 10, the House of Representatives passed a $1.9 trillion relief package, providing another round of emergency aid for communities and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A signature component of the President's agenda during his first 100 days, the bill provides important provisions for the arts.

These include $135 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (and explicit support for the federal-state partnership) and $1.35 billion more for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, as well as significant non-arts-specific support, including providing stimulus checks to many individuals and families, an extension of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and $350 billion in aid to state and local governments.

The National Endowment for the Arts is in the process of determining funding categories for their component of the American Rescue Plan (ARP). We anticipate that the guidelines and application will be available in late April.

If you have questions about the direct Arts Endowment ARP grants, please review the FAQs

PPP Formula Changes Specifically to Help Self-Employed Workers 

The Biden Administration also announced four additional changes to prioritize the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support as many underserved small businesses and self-employed workers as possible, effective 3-3-21. The first change detailed below is the real game-changer and only applies to self-employed individuals (sole proprietors, gig workers and 1099s) who have not been approved for a new (1st or 2nd draw) PPP loan yet in 2021.

SBA will now allow eligible self-employed individuals (sole proprietors, gig workers, 1099s) to qualify for a larger PPP loan by revising the “payroll expenses” formula for these applicants only. Self-Employed applicants can now qualify by using their “Gross Income” on Line 7 of their Schedule C for either 2019 or 2020. This new PPP formula is more equitable to self-employed individuals and it will yield significantly more forgivable loan funds than ever before! Learn more, here.
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Updates

The SBA posted the updated FAQs and other informational documents for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG). It provides an extensive checklist of materials to begin preparing for an application and a clear table of eligibility requirements based on the type of venue operator/producer/talent representative entity. SBA also added a few changes to the SVOG’s new FAQs (the added FAQs begin with an * asterisk), as well as a new video tutorial for museums.