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BREAKING: SBA Now Advises Shuttered Venue Operator Grant to Re-Open Monday, April 26

In response to stakeholder feedback about reopening the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application this weekend, the U.S. Small Business Administration ("SBA") has now advised that the application portal will re-open Monday, April 26, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. EDT.

The SBA advises that it has now updated the guidance documents, including a new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document which is the tenth version issued by the SBA since the program was established by the American Rescue Plan earlier this year. Interested applicants should reference the newly updated guidance documents and register on the portal in advance. The SBA also indicates that applicants will need a smartphone and a multi-factor authenticator app to register and apply. The SBA provides additional information on this process and a hotline to assist with any questions. Applicants can call 1-800-659-2955, or for the deaf and hard-of-hearing 800.877.8339 and follow the prompts to SVOG assistance. The call center is open April 23, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT, and starting Saturday, April 24, the center will be open 24 hours a day through Monday evening at 8 p.m. EDT.

The SVOG will provide aid to eligible live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators, or talent representatives that meet the applicable definitions. Generally, eligible applicants will be required to demonstrate:

  • Legitimate and Organized Enterprise – must meet the stated criteria for each type of eligible entity
  • Operational Status – must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020
  • Impact of Pandemic – must demonstrate not less than a 25 percent reduction in gross earned revenue in 2020 as compared to the same quarters in 2019
  • Benefit of Grant – must remain in continued operation or show an intent to resume operations
  • Certification – eligible entities must submit a good faith certification that the uncertainty of current economic conditions justify the grant to support ongoing operations.

Grant amounts will be based on the lesser of 45 percent of the gross earned revenue during 2019; or for a business that began operations after January 1, 2019, the amount equal to the average monthly gross revenue for each full month the business was in operation during 2019, multiplied by 6; or $10 million.

If all funds are not exhausted during the first phase of awards, the Administrator may issue supplemental awards of up to 50 percent of an entity's initial award and subject to a per entity total maximum of $10 million. Grant funds must be used for eligible expenses incurred March 1, 2020, through June 30, 2022. For more information on the SVOG, see our initial alert on this program or visit the SBA's dedicated SVOG site.

Contact Wendy Huff Ellard or any member of Baker Donelson's Disaster Recovery and Government Services Team with additional questions.

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