The newly passed American Rescue Plan (“ARP”) revised and expanded the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants program initially passed under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The available amount of grants increased to over $16 billion. Additionally, grant applicants no longer need to choose between a PPP loan and the Shuttered Venue Operator Grants.
If a venue received a PPP loan after December 27, 2020, the amount of the PPP loan will be deducted from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. However, venues will become ineligible for a PPP loan AFTER they receive a Shuttered Venue. The American Rescue Plan did not amend the entities qualifying for the grants or the priority of the grants distribution.
Qualified Entities: The qualified entities include, but are not limited to, the following: music or theatre venues, entertainment businesses, arts and cultural organizations, non-profit museums, and movie theatre operators. An applicant must have a defined performance and audience space.
The only entertainment operators specifically excluded from qualification for the grants are those that present live performances of a “prurient sexual nature” or derive more than a de minimis gross revenue from the sale of products or services that are of a “prurient sexual nature”.
Ineligible Entities: The following entities are ineligible for the grants:
(1) those that do not have a place of business in the United States, do not operate primarily in the United States, or do not make significant contributions to the United States economy;
(2) those that received more than 10% of its gross revenue from federal funding in 2019 (not counting disaster assistance);
(3) those that were not in operation as of February 29, 2020;
(4) publicly traded companies;
(5) those that answer yes to two or more of the following:
(i) own or operate businesses in more than one country,
(ii) own or operate businesses in more than ten states, or
(iii) employs more than 500 employees as of February 29, 2020.
Priority of Grants: To qualify for a grant, a business must have been:
(1) fully operational on or before February 29, 2020, and
(2) had gross earned revenue during at least one quarter in 2020 demonstrating a 25% reduction in gross earned revenue during the same quarter in 2019.
The grants will be distributed in a three-tier priority:
- First priority grants will be distributed during the initial fourteen days of the program to entities whose revenue has declined 90% or more from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019.
- Second priority grants will be distributed the third and fourth week of the program to entities whose revenue has declined 70% or more from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019.
- General grants will then be distributed to any eligible entity.
The grants will be capped at 10 million. The first round of grants for entities that were in operation on January 1, 2019, will be equal to 45% of the gross earned revenue during 2019. For entities that began operations after January 1, 2019, the grants will be up to six times the average monthly gross earned revenue for each full month of 2019 that the entity was in operation.
A second round of grants will be available to entities that received grants in the first round. The second round of grants will begin April 1, 2021 and will be available to entities whose revenue for the first quarter of 2021 is not more than 30% of the revenue for the first quarter of 2019. The supplemental grant shall be 50% of the initial grant.
The grants may be used for payroll costs, covered rent obligations, covered utility payments, covered worker protection expenditures, interest payments on covered mortgages/debts incurred prior to February 15, 2020, payments to independent contractors and other ordinary and necessary business expenses.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Rosenblatt Law Firm.
Sign to register when the application officially opens at: https://www.svograntportal.sba.gov/s/The SBA published Preliminary Application Checklist to assist entities prepare for the application process is available at: https://www.sba.gov/document/support-shuttered-venue-operators-grant-preliminary-application-checklist.