Dear APAP Members,

Thank you to those of you who continue to share your concerns about accessing federal relief. The information you provide is crucial as APAP continues to advocate on your behalf. If you haven't taken our COVID-19 Relief survey, please take the survey now.

Late Sunday, the SBA issued updates to the Frequently Asked Questions for the SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program. View the latest FAQs here.
 
APAP and our advocacy partners have been meeting regularly with the SBA in order to gain clarity on the guidelines, get the latest information, and provide insight to the SBA on the complex ecosystem being served by this program.
 
The SBA is working as quickly as possible to open the program and has advised that there will be sufficient notification time before the application process opens. In addition to our ongoing effort to raise specific questions and concerns, we have voiced the following:

  • We need clear guidance, so that applicants can make an informed decision.

  • SVOG needs to launch ASAP, especially as the PPP close date approaches.
 
  • The program needs to be adequately funded to meet the needs of all entities seeking relief.
While the SBA has the final authority in handling applications, here are some key takeaways from this latest batch of FAQs.

1) The FAQs offer some clarity around definitions, including promoter, theatrical producer, performing arts organization operator and other important definitions.

2) The updated FAQs present good news for performing arts venues and presenters at public universities and colleges. In prior FAQs, all entities that were majority-owned by entities that received more than 10% of their 2019 gross revenue from the Federal government would not be eligible. That would disqualify the vast majority of universities and colleges. Because the law states that, for entities owned by the State or political subdivision of a State, for purposes of determining eligibility per the 10% Federal funding exclusion, "shall not include entities of the State or political subdivision other than the live venue operator or promoter, theatrical producer, or live performing arts organization operator, the relevant museum operator, the motion picture theatre operator, or the talent representative," the SBA has stated that the 10% Federal funding eligibility exclusion will not apply to public universities and colleges. Unfortunately, the exception provided by the statute does not apply to performing arts venues and presenters at private universities.

You can learn more about how SVOG eligibility is being applied to universities and colleges by reviewing questions 9-12 on page 3 of the FAQs.

3) The FAQs answer some key questions, including:

  • For determining applicant eligibility for priority periods, how is “revenue” being defined? The SBA will use gross revenues to determine how an entity qualifies for one of the priority periods.

  • How is “gross revenue” being defined by the SBA? Gross revenue is functionally equivalent to ‘receipts,’ which the SBA has defined under 13 C.F.R. § 121.104 as meaning “all revenue in whatever form received or accrued from whatever source.” This will include contributions, donations, and grants from any and all sources (excluding any disaster assistance funding).

  • How will capital funds, restricted grants, or investment income affect an entity’s SVOG application? The SBA will take such financial resources into consideration when the Agency is examining an eligible entity’s gross revenue. For example, the SBA will consider such sources of revenue for purposes of determining whether an applicant meets the requirement that no more than 10% of its 2019 gross revenue came from the Federal government (excluding disaster assistance) or determining whether it can demonstrate sufficient gross revenue loss to qualify for one of the priority periods.

  • Can affiliated entities use the same SAM registration to apply for up to five SVOGs or should each affiliated entity that desires to receive a SVOG individually obtain its own SAM registration? Each eligible entity applying for an SVOG must use its own SAM registration.

  • Can a mobile, portable, or touring facility be a qualifying venue for an SVOG?Yes. Any venue, including traveling tent shows such as circuses and festivals, that meets all the space-related requirements in the Economic Aid Act (e.g., defined performance and audience spaces, lighting rig, etc.) will be considered an SVOG-qualifying venue. If a particular venue cannot meet these requirements, it is not eligible to apply for an SVOG.

APAP will continue to work with our partners to best represent your interests to the SBA and other public officials on these and other advocacy issues.
How to prepare to apply for SVOG:
 
While the SVOG application process has not yet opened, there are many things you can do to prepare.

  • Confirm your SAM registration now! SBA will place a notice to initiate the application process on Grants.gov, and all applicants will be required to have a DUNS number and register with the System for Award Management (SAM), where your organization's information must be renewed annually. Please remember that you can always go directly to sam.gov to renew your DUNS number directly and without cost.
  • Utilize these resources, as needed.
  • The Grants.gov Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (Phone: 1-800-518-4726. email: support@grants.gov)
  • SAM.gov Federal Service Desk: Call 1-866-606-8220 or see the information posted on the SAM.gov website at SAM User Guides.
  • SBA posted a new DUNS and SAM.gov Registration Training Video.
  • SBA posted a Simple Cross-Program Eligibility Table of various SBA programs that you can and cannot apply for simultaneously.
  • District and regional SBA offices may be a resource for technical assistance throughout the application process, and some will be providing specialized stakeholder events.
  • Gather documents. While detailed information is not yet available on required documentation, SBA recommends that applicants “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 SVOG.”
An important update on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):
In case you missed it, on Monday, February 22, the Biden-Harris administration issued a statement announcing increases in lending to small businesses in need and changes to PPP to further promote equitable access to relief. The changes includes instituting a 14-day period, which started on Wednesday, February 24, during which only businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for relief through the Program, as well as many other changes aimed to support more equitable distribution of support.
Lastly, we understand that right now, you are likely having to make the best decision you can make for your organization with only partial information. APAP will continue to work to share what we know ​and to advocate on your behalf.

We are stronger together.

Sincerely,

Lisa Richards Toney
President and CEO, APAP