What You Need to Know about the SVOG

By Kathy Bazan, Small Business Consultant

What is the SVOG? Created by the December stimulus bill, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program funds $16 billion in grants (not loans) for those who operate venues which were closed by the pandemic. $2 billion in grants are set aside for entities with up to 50 employees (the smaller venues). On April 8 or later, apply to the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance here.

Grant amount:

If you began your operation before January 1, 2019, then your grants could be up to 45% of the venue’s gross earned revenue up to $10 million for one business.

If you started your operation after January 1, 2019, then your grant will be the average monthly gross earned revenue for each full month your doors were open during 2019 multiplied by six (6) OR $10 million, whichever is less.

Which entities are eligible to apply for the grant?

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Theatrical producers
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos, and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives.
  • You must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020.

Note: If you received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, your SVOG will be reduced by the amount of the PPP loan.

How are grant awards prioritized?

April 8-22: Any entity suffering 90% or more revenue loss April-December 2020.

April 23-May 7: Any entity suffering 70% or more revenue loss April-December 2020.

After May 8: Any entity suffering 25% or more revenue loss when comparing any 1 quarter in 2019 to the same quarter in 2020. Example: 25% loss of revenue comparing Q3 2019 to Q3 2020 (July, August, September).

Supplemental funding: If after Rounds 1, 2, and 3, there is still money in this SVOG fund, then grants will be offered to those who suffered a 70% or greater revenue loss in the most recent calendar quarter (Q1 2021).

Please be aware: Dates may change due to the SBA.

Expenses which can be paid with the SVOG:

  • Payroll costs
  • Payments to independent contractors (May NOT exceed $100K.)
  • Rent
  • Operating leases signed prior to February 15, 2020
  • Mortgage (You may NOT prepay principal with the grant.)
  • Utilities
  • Scheduled debt payments (You may NOT prepay principal on any debt incurred prior to February 15, 2020.)
  • Personal protective equipment for your employees/staff
  • Maintenance expenses
  • Administrative costs (includes licensing and fees)
  • Event fees including advertising, production, transportation, and capital expenses related to producing a life performing arts or theatrical performance. (This may NOT be the primary use of your funds.)
  • Insurance payments
  • State and local taxes
  • State and local fees

Recordkeeping requirements;

  • Retain employment records for 4 years.
  • Retain all other records for 3 years after your grant is awarded to you.

Video tutorials:

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Kathy Bazan, BRC Consultant to Business Owners
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Shuttered Venue Operators Grant” (https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/shuttered-venue-operators-grant)

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