Dear APAP Members,

On Friday, March 5, the SBA released revised FAQs for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program. While the latest FAQs had fewer updates than previous versions, it included unanswered questions regarding eligibility and applications.

Also released on Friday, March 5 was a very helpful chart of Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Eligibility Requirements and Preliminary Application Checklist. While some items raise new questions, we will continue to seek clarity on your behalf in order to make this program as accessible as possible.
SVOG Eligibility Updates, Clarifications, and Requirements:

In addition to the just released Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Eligibility Requirements, here is some additional guidance.

  • Last week the SBA clarified on its website that the third priority period is for "Entities that suffered a 25% or greater earned revenue loss between one quarter of 2019 and the corresponding quarter of 2020."

  • For the first and second priority periods, the SBA has confirmed that the 90% or greater revenue loss and the 70% or greater revenue loss between April 2020 through December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic applies to gross revenue, although we are still looking for clarification as to whether the gross revenue definition includes contributed capital funds, restricted grants, or unrealized gains.

  • The latest FAQs address eligibility questions around entities that provide stages, lighting, sound, casts, and other support for live performing arts events, as well as entities who host concerts but whose principal business activity is outside of the defined target of SVOG, affirming that "only entities whose principal business activity is being a live venue operator, promoter, theatrical producer, live performing arts organization operator, museum operator, motion picture theatre, operator, or talent representative are eligible for SVOGs under the Economic Aid Act."

  • The latest FAQs also provide an opening for organizations currently in bankruptcy, stating that "Eligible entities undergoing a reorganization form of bankruptcy (such as Chapter 11 or Chapter 13) may apply for an SVOG. However, entities undergoing a liquidation form of bankruptcy (such as Chapter 7) are not eligible." The SBA does note that such entities could "be subject to special restrictions or requirements."


SVOG Application Checklist and Guidance:

In addition to the just released SVOG Preliminary Application Checklist, here is some additional guidance.

  • In case you missed it, the SBA has made available this video on How to Register for DUNS and SAM. Have you registered for SAM (the System for Award Management) yet? Do you have a DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number? These are required items to apply for SVOG.

  • The latest FAQs include answers to two key questions about the application process, "Would an individual or business face any penalties for applying for an SVOG if it is later deemed to be ineligible for the program?" and "What are the reasons for which an entity’s SVOG application might be denied?"

  • Save the date for March 18! APAP is planning a webinar to help support our members who represent smaller businesses and organizations (such as agents, managers, small and mid-sized presenters and others) and who may be less familiar with accessing funding from the federal government. Time and details to be announced soon.
SVOG Application Opening Timeline and Potential PPP Dual Eligibility:

While not officially identifying an opening date for the Shuttered Venues Operators Grants (SVOG) program, the SBA has advised that it may not open until at least March 31, in order to put the necessary processes into place. In the meantime, the SBA continues to build out the guidance, application, and training materials needed to help applicants prepare.

In what could be great news for those needing access to funds sooner than later, The American Rescue Plan---which the Senate passed on Saturday, March 6---would allow 2021 Paycheck Protection Program (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). While this option may be appealing to many waiting for the SVOG program to open, dual eligibility will not be confirmed until the latest relief bill is signed into law, which could be later this week. It currently still stands that applying for PPP would disqualify you from applying for the SVOG. Notably, there is also another $1.25B earmarked for SVOG in this latest legislation.
REMINDER: The PPP protected window for very small businesses closes today at 5 p.m. EST; PPP application process reopens to all applicants starting tomorrow.

In case you missed it, in an effort to promote greater equity, the Biden Administration created a protected two-week window during which the SBA would only process PPP loan applications from businesses with fewer than 20 employees and from self-employed individuals (sole proprietors, gig workers, 1099s) from Wednesday, February 24 through today, March 9 at 5 p.m. EST. The deadline to apply for any PPP loan is Wednesday, March 31, 2021, and there is still roughly half of the funds (more than $100B) left in the program.
APAP will continue to work with our partners to advocate on your behalf to the SBA and other public officials on these and other advocacy issues, and we will continue to provide you with the latest updates.

We are stronger together.

Sincerely,

Lisa Richards Toney
President and CEO, APAP