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Awards expected to begin going out within 2 weeks
On Monday, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced it would begin sending invitations for supplemental awards for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. Per the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-profits and Venues Act, SVOG supplemental awards are to be provided to those who received an initial grant and have illustrated a 70% loss when comparing 2021’s first-quarter revenues to the same in 2019.
Thus far, approximately $9 billion has been awarded in initial SVOGs, providing a lifeline for theaters, live venue spaces, and other entertainment and cultural hubs as they recover from the pandemic, reopen in many communities across the nation, and continue contributing to local economies.
“The SBA has awarded approximately $9 billion in crucial relief to approximately 11,500 performing arts venues and other related businesses so they can continue to anchor our neighborhoods and define our communities. We know many of these businesses still need assistance to fully recover from the unanticipated expenses and debt caused by the pandemic,” SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program Director Matthew Stevens said. “These supplemental grants will go to the hardest-hit Shuttered Venue Operators Grant awardees to ensure they can get back on their feet and get back to the business of driving our nation’s economy.”
Supplemental award applicants can choose to apply for any amount up to 50% of their original SVOG amount, with a $10 million cap of the initial and supplemental awards combined, according to the law. The supplemental awards also allow SVOG recipients to extend the time to use their grant funds for expenses accrued through June 30, 2022, and lengthen their budget period to 18 months from the initial grant’s disbursement date.
SVOG is one of the programs the SBA has facilitated during the pandemic that has provided more than $1 trillion in relief for America’s communities.
If sufficient funding is not available for all eligible entities to receive a supplemental award, priority will be given to applicants who have illustrated the greatest revenue loss in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter in 2019.
One such venue the SVOG program was instrumental in saving is Tygart Valley Cinemas, which opened in 1979 in Fairmont, West Virginia, and has been in the Carunchia family for two generations, with husband-wife duo Michael and Melissa now operating it. Marion County is very important to the family; the business employs nearly 20 residents and is dedicated to keeping ticket prices reasonable, as they know the entire community has suffered during this crisis.
“If we had not received the grant, we would probably still be riding out the storm as we speak,” Melissa Carunchia said. “The stress of running a small business during COVID is very hard and life-consuming. We are grateful that we were awarded the grant and are confident it will get us through this difficult time.”
She added, “Because of the grant, as business picks back up, we do not have to worry about buying the supplies we need or the cost of utilities. The main thing we have is peace of mind knowing that going forward we have a safety net.”
For additional information on SBA’s economic relief programs, visit COVID-19 relief options. Further, SBA’s resource partners, including SCORE Mentors, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers, are available to provide entities with individual guidance on their applications. Applicants can find a local resource partner via a ZIP code search at http://www.sba.gov/local-assistance. For weekly SVOG funding data reports, visit www.sba.gov/svog.
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Background
The SVOG program was appropriated more than $16.2 billion for grants via the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, and the American Rescue Plan Act. Of these funds, at least $2 billion is reserved for eligible SVOG applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue up to a maximum amount of $10 million for a single grant.