The agency overseeing the now $7.2 billion Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program announced Friday that it will begin sending out invitations to its newly created supplemental grant program. SBA says that supplemental awards will start going out in "two weeks."
The first iteration of the SVOG began on April 26, doled out $9 billion to 11,500 venues. It ceased accepting new applications on August 20.
The supplemental award is open only to qualifying live entertainment small businesses, nonprofits, and venues that already received aid. The presumption is that many of these venues, which include music clubs, theaters and museums, still need help--and it's not a moment too soon, as the highly-contagious Delta variant poses an ongoing threat.
"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," Matthew Stevens, SBA's SVOG program director, said in a statement.
The agency specified that supplemental grants will be offered at 50 percent of the original award amount, capped at $10 million for the combined initial and supplemental grants. Moreover, only institutions that received an initial grant that can show a 70 percent first quarter loss in revenues compared with the same quarter in 2019 are eligible.
The first program stipulated that eligible applicants could apply for grants equal to 45 percent of their gross earned revenue, up to a maximum of $10 million. SBA defines "earned revenue" or "gross earned revenue" as money received from the sale of goods or services rather than, say, donations or sponsorship income.
As an added inducement, the agency is extending the time period institutions have to spend their grants on eligible expenses like payroll and rent. Businesses and nonprofits receiving a SVOG may now spend down their grant proceeds on eligible expenses through June 30, 2022; they'll also get to lengthen their budget timeframe to 18 months from the date of the initial grant's disbursement. These institutions previously had 12 months after receiving a grant to pay or reimburse themselves for allowable costs incurred from March 1, 2020.
Should funding begin to run out quickly, SBA says it will prioritize applicants with the greatest revenue losses, keeping with the priority periods that marked the first version of the program. In that instance, for 14 days after the SBA began making awards the agency favored applications from entities with at least a 90 percent revenue loss between April and December 2020. That followed with another 14-day priority window for entities with revenue losses of 70 percent or more over the same period. The SVOG then opened up to those that suffered at least a 25 percent drop in earned revenue.
Despite the good news for venues seeking a second dip, it's unclear what is happening with applicants that are currently appealing their SVOG decisions or the amounts provided. In a prior announcement the SBA had said it would reconsider amounts and appeals on an invitation-only basis. The agency has provided no updates on this review process.