Although the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was meant to help businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, a new grant program is specifically looking to help venue operators. The Small Business Administration (SBA) set aside $15 billion from the latest stimulus for the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Program.
The program is to help for-profit and nonprofit venue operators, concert promoters, booking agents, theaters, museums, zoos, aquariums, movie theaters, and others in the arts industry. The funds are a grant, not a loan — as long as certain requirements are met — and the business has to show they suffered at least a 25 percent decline in revenues between April and December 2020.
$2 billion of the funds is reserved for small businesses with up to 50 full-time employees.
To be eligible, your business had to be in operation on or before Feb. 29, 2020, according to the SBA, and if you were in business on or before Jan. 1, 2019, you can get a grant for 45 percent of your revenue.
The funds have a few rules, including what you can spend it on, which includes rent, payroll, mortgages, as well as other expenses. You also cannot have received a PPP loan on or after Dec. 27, 2020.
Contractors of the eligible businesses (like actors and technicians) are not able to apply for their own grant, but may be able to receive payment from the business itself.
Applications for the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Program is not yet open.