Save Our Stages Act | Grants for Independent Live Venues, Independent Movie Theaters, and Cultural Institutions
As of February 17, 2021, applications are not available yet. A new FAQ informational PDF is available for review here. For additional questions, email SVOgrant@sba.gov
Context: Due to the nature of COVID-19, live event venues are likely to be the last to reopen. These venues serve as hubs that anchor the economies of towns and city neighborhoods across the nation. Aside from generating millions in tax revenue, local community jobs around the country have been lost or put on hold while concerts, plays, festivals, fairs, and events have ceased. Social distancing, capacity limitations and other restrictions mean that the live event industry is unlikely to recover in the near future. This bill is designed to provide temporary relief to not only the venues, but the employees, promoters, managers, producers, and entertainers that support them.
Save Our Stages (SOS) Act: This bill creates a new $15 billion SBA grant program for independent live venue operators that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. Eligible applicants include independent live venue operators, promoters, producers, talent representatives, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions such as live performing arts organizations and museums. To be eligible, an entity must have experienced at least 25% lost revenue due to COVID-19.
The grants will provide 6 months of financial support that could be used to keep employees paid and our country’s prized cultural hubs open for business.
Specifically, the new program includes the following components:
- Create a new grant program at the Small Business Administration to provide assistance to independent live venue operators, promoters, producers, talent representatives, independent movie theaters, and museums.
- Permit recipients to use grants for various costs, including those associated with COVID-19:
- Rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases; and
- PPE procurement, capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines.
- Grants are narrowly targeted and appropriately calculated to provide 6 months of operating assistance for small and independent live venue operators and their industry partners.
- Grants are equal to the lesser of 45% of gross revenue during 2019; or
- $10 million
- To ensure the hardest hit of eligible applicants receive assistance, there are two priority application periods. The first 14 days, only eligible entities that have lost more than 90% of gross revenue can apply. The next 14 days, only eligible entities that have lost more than 70% can apply. A reserve of 20% of overall appropriated funds, $3 billion in this case, will remain available for all other eligible entities to apply for after 28 days.
- There is a $2 billion set-aside of funds for eligible entities with 50 or fewer employees to ensure smaller applicants are not left out.
- An entity is still eligible for a grant if they have received a PPP loan prior to implementation of the program, but the entity may not receive a PPP loan and a grant after implementation of the program.
More information can be found at the following links: