Two weeks after the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) portal successfully reopened, officials at the Small Business Administration say that the first round of awards will be distributed next week.
There are three distinct 14-day periods during which SVOG funds will be awarded. Priority One applicants that lost 90% or more of their revenue from April to December of 2020 are scheduled to receive funds of up to $10 million in the first 14 days of disbursement. Following that, Priority Two establishments that lost 70% or more of their revenue in the same time period will receive funds over the next 14 days. And last in line are businesses that lost 25% or more of their revenue in 2020, which will receive funds in the 14 days after the second round of funding closes.
The amount of funding for the second and third tiers, along with any supplemental funding, will be based on what remains after the SBA awards grants to the first priority group.
“This emergency relief can’t come soon enough for those on the precipice of going under. We’ll be very grateful when the money is distributed as Congress intended,” says National Independent Venue Association board member Audrey Fix Schaefer. “It’s been very hard to hold on, but even tougher to plan for reopening without the money to hire back staff, rent venues and secure acts with deposits. It will be incredible when the $16 billion Congress earmarked to save our stages becomes a reality.”
As of today, 11,500 SVOG applications have been submitted to the SBA. Of the 11,500 applications, nearly 4,750 of those are from independent live venue operators or promoters. Another 2,678 applications are from performing arts organizations, while 1,308 are from talent representatives.
The fund disbursement will be welcome news for venue owners who have been desperately awaiting relief since the SVOG was passed in December. The grant provides a total of more than $16 billion in federal relief to independent music venues, promoters, talent agencies, museums and movie theaters that were forced to shutter during the global pandemic.
According to federal grant award policies, the SBA will reach out to award recipients as soon as the final decisions are made. The SBA will then send a notice of award, which serves as a legally binding issuance of the grant. Once venues sign the agreement and accept the funds, they are obligated to carry out the full terms and conditions of the agreement. Venues will need to keep documentation regarding how they used the funds, retain employment records for four years following their receipt of a grant and retain all other records for three years.