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Federal Shuttered Venue Operator Grants (SVOG) Program

by Sarah Skillin Woodard

April 8, 2021 Update: The SVOG Program officially opens. To apply, please visit this SBA website. (Check back regularly if the portal is down. It has had regular technical issues.)

The SBA reports that the Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program application process is slated to open on April 8, 2021. The program was established in the year-end COVID law and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act to provide over $16 billion in economic relief to nonprofits and for-profit venue operators. Although the program has not formally opened, SBA web resources now include updates to both the application checklist (March 11, 2021) and the Frequently Asked Questions (March 12, 2021). 

The new guidance from SBA clarifies that applicants seeking Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grants may also apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, a prohibition that was altered in the American Rescue Plan Act. Now, SBA states: “If you receive a PPP loan after December 27, 2021, and you are subsequently approved for an SVO grant, the amount of the SVO grant received will be reduced by the amount of a First Draw or Second Draw PPP Loan.” It also makes clear that “a PPP loan received before December 27, 2020, will not reduce the amount of the SVO grant.” PPP applicants must still certify, however, that they have not been approved for an SVO grant as of the time of the application.

Finally, the revised rule adjusts the language regarding loan forgiveness to confirm that payroll costs taken into account in determining Employee Retention Tax Credit and others such as disaster credit or COBRA continuation are not eligible for loan forgiveness.

More Information + Resources

Please reach out to MANP Advocacy & Public Affairs Director, Sarah Woodard, with questions about the SVOG program at swoodard@nonprofitmaine.org.

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