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SBA to Administer New Grant Program for Shuttered Venue Operators

29 March 2021
SBA to Administer New Grant Program for Shuttered Venue Operators

Many businesses suffered significant losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic; some have been unable to generate revenue at all. As of December 27, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) established a grant program designed to help small businesses either stay in business or return to operations. This program has allocated $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, and the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will administer the program.

Who Is Eligible and Who Is Not

The types of venues and promoters that are eligible to apply, as outlined by the SBA, are:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Museum operators, zoos, and aquariums (that meet specific criteria which have yet to be announced)
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives 
  • Businesses entities owned by an entity that also meets the eligibility requirements

Other requirements include:

  • The venue must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020. 
  • The venue or promoter must not have applied for or received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020.

If your entity meets any of the following criteria, you are ineligible for the SBA grant:

  • Your entity received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020. 
  • Your entity is a publicly-traded company or corporation or is majority-owned by one. 
  • Your entity presents live performances or sells products of a sexual nature. 
  • Your entity owns and operates museums, theaters, venues, or talent agencies in more than 10 states and more than one country. 
  • Your entity exceeds 500 employees as of February 29, 2020.

Grant Calculation for Shuttered Venue Operators

For eligible entities, the amount awarded will be one of the following:

How to Apply and Prepare for Funding

The applications for the SBA grant are not currently open, but the SBA is working to make them available as soon as possible. You can sign up for email alerts about updates for the grant application here.

To prepare for your grant, you should apply for a Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) number so that you can register in the System for Award Management. You will not be able to use your Employer Identification Number or your Taxpayer Identification Number for this process. After you receive your DUNS number, you should register at the System for Award Management as processing can take up to 2 weeks.

You can also prepare by gathering documentation showing how many employees you have and your monthly revenue to calculate the number of employees who qualify. The SBA has a FAQ page with information on determining employee count and how to calculate tax revenue loss. 

There is an established level of priority for which businesses will receive grant money. It is important to note that $2 billion of the grant money will go to eligible businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees. 

1st priority: Businesses considered top priority have suffered a 90 percent or greater loss of revenue between April and December of 2020 due to the pandemic; these will receive grant money within the first 14 days the awards are issued. 

2nd priority: Businesses or organizations that qualify as 2nd priority have suffered a 70 percent or more revenue loss between April and December of 2020, and will receive their grants within the following 14-day period. 

3rd priority: Businesses in this group will have suffered a revenue loss of 25 percent or more between one quarter in 2019 and the corresponding quarter in 2020. These businesses will be awarded grants beginning 28 days after the first and second priority groups.

Additional funding will be available for businesses that have suffered 70 percent or more significant losses after April 1, 2021.

How Grant Funds Can Be Used

If you qualify and subsequently receive grant funds, as outlined by the SBA, you may use the funds to cover the following:

  • 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 before February 15, 2020) 
  • Worker protection expenditures
  • Payments to independent contractors (not to exceed $100K 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 (this can not be the primary use of funds)

Businesses may not use the grants in the following ways:

  • Purchase real estate 
  • Make payments on loans originated after February 15, 2020
  • Make investments or loans
  • Make contributions or other payments to, or on behalf of, political parties, political committees, or candidates for election
  • Any other use that the Administrator prohibits

If your entity receives money, you will be required to keep and maintain records demonstrating your compliance with the allocation of the funds. Businesses must also retain employment records for 4 years and all other records for 3 years. 

Your business must return any funds that were either not used or are leftover within one year of the initial date of disbursement unless the eligible entity also receives a supplemental grant. In this case, leftover funds must be returned 18 months after the initial disbursement date.

There will be additional guidelines once SBA opens the application process.

Let Rigby Financial Group Help You Get Started

Rigby Financial Group dedicates itself to helping businesses develop improved relationships with money. When you work with us, there is no one-size-fits-all plan. We tailor our financial solutions to each individual company’s needs. Whether you need Rigby Financial Group to help with financial planning or act as an interim CFO, we are here for you. With services ranging from tax and accounting to financial planning to acting as your virtual CFO, we’ve got the expertise to help. 

Contact us today to get on the road to a thriving relationship with money for your business.

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