Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program Opens April 8

Eligible venues impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have a new option to receive financial help starting today. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program, part of the American Rescue Plan, will distribute over $16 billion in grants to businesses or non-profits connected to live performance. The US Small Business Administration (SBA) will begin accepting applications on April 8 at 12pm.

4/8 Update: Due to technical difficulties, SBA has temporarily suspended the SVOG application portal. SBA is working closely with the portal vendors to reopen as soon as possible.

Shuttered Venue Operators GrantWhat grant amount can I receive?

An eligible applicant in operation on January 1, 2019 can receive a grant equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue, up to $10 million.

An entity that began operating after January 1, 2019 can receive a grant for the average monthly gross earned revenue for each full month it was in operation during 2019 multiplied by 6 OR $10 million, whichever is less.

The SBA will allocate funds in three phases, prioritized based on entities’ revenue lost due to the pandemic. The first two weeks’ awards will be granted to entities with 90% or more loss of revenue, the second two weeks will be devoted to grants with 70% or more loss of revenue, and entities with 25% or more revenue loss will be eligible in the final tranche of grants.

Is my business eligible?

Venues must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020 and be:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives
  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirement

A venue or promoter who received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount.

How can I use the funds?

The funds can be used on various operating expenses, including:

  • Payroll costs
  • Rent payments
  • Utility payments
  • Scheduled mortgage payments (not including prepayment of principal)
  • Scheduled debt payments (not including prepayment of principal on any indebtedness incurred in the ordinary course of business prior to February 15, 2020)
  • Worker protection expenditures
  • Payments to independent contractors (not to exceed $100,000 in annual compensation per contractor)
  • Other ordinary and necessary business expenses, including maintenance costs
  • Administrative costs (including fees and licensing)
  • State and local taxes and fees
  • Operating leases in effect as of February 15, 2020
  • Insurance payments
  • Advertising, production transportation, and capital expenditures related to producing a theatrical or live performing arts production. (May not be primary use of funds)

The funds can’t be used for:

  • Buying real estate
  • Making payments on loans originated after February 15, 2020
  • Making investments or loans
  • Making contributions or other payments to, or on behalf of, political parties, political committees, or candidates for election
  • Any other use prohibited by the Administrator


If you have questions or need help with applying to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program, contact us today.


SVOG Portal

View Frequently Asked Questions

View preliminary application checklist

View eligibility requirements

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