Update: The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal launch has been postponed once again to noon EST on April 26th. The Small Business Administration has issued the below statement:
“We heard you and we are taking action. It is our top priority to deliver on the promise and commitment to provide economic lifelines to you ASAP. Yet, we understand the challenges a weekend opening would bring and to ensure the greatest number of businesses can apply for these funds, we decided to reschedule.”
A U.S. relief bill passed in December included $15 billion in grants to venues hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Following two weeks of technical difficulties, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program will accept applicants starting Saturday, April 24th.
Venue owners, who were previously given instructions on how to apply, can receive grants of up to $10 million or 45% of their gross revenue – whichever is less. The SVOG portal originally went live on April 8th but was shut down in a matter of hours. The Small Business Administration (SBA) would award grants on a first-come-first serve basis, meaning that the issues needed to be resolved in order to ensure fair chances to all applicants.
According to an SBA announcement, rigorous testing has been completed ahead of the portal reopening. In order to be eligible, applicants must have been operating on February 29th, 2020. Recent recipients of PPP loans will have the amount subtracted from their grant if awarded, and other factors can disqualify an organization altogether.
The SBA will pay out grants in four tiers. First priority will be given to applicants who suffered a 90% or greater loss between April and December 2020, 70% for second priority, and 25% between any quarter of 2019 and the same quarter of 2021. The supplemental funding round applies to suffered a loss of 70% or more in the first quarter of 2021.
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal will reopen at 12:30 PM on Saturday, April 24th. More information is available on the SBA website.