Independent venue owners, promoters and talent representatives were given good news Tuesday (July 13) when a Small Business Administration (SBA) representative told stakeholders they would not need to reapply for supplemental funds from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG).
According to multiple sources who were on an SVOG stakeholders call Tuesday morning, the SBA said any applicants who were approved for grants in the first two tiers — those who lost 70% or more of their revenue in 2020 — would not need to resubmit an application to receive additional funding. As of Monday, $11.8 billion of the more than $16 billion grant funds had been requested by initial applicants, which would leave at least $4 billion in supplemental grants for entertainment businesses.
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant was passed in December and supplemental grants were worked into the bill language to provide additional funding for entertainment businesses that continued to suffer closures into 2021. More than six months after the bill was passed, following failed launches and missed deadlines, venues are slowly receiving the much-needed initial round of funding, with just over $3 billion disbursed as of Monday.
Information on how the supplemental grants will work continues to be minimal, but the SBA provided stakeholders with additional details this morning. In addition to year-round entities that lost 70% or more of their revenue in 2020, seasonal events such as annual festivals or amphitheaters that lost 70% or more of their revenue in a specific quarter are also expected to be eligible.
The SBA informed stakeholders that it intends to reach out to those approved for the grant in the first and second tiers — those who lost 90% or more or 70% or more of their revenue in 2020, respectively — for supplemental grants of half the amount of their initial grant. For example, if a venue received $1 million for their initial grant, they would receive $500,000 for their supplemental grant.
Applicants can expect to hear from the SBA about supplemental grants 14 days after reconciliation and appeals processes begin. As of Tuesday, more than 3,000 applications have been declined or are queued to be declined. Declined applications that are not suspected of fraud will have that 14-day period to appeal the SBA’s decision. The number of entities that wish to reconcile the amount of money they were awarded by the SBA is pending.
The SBA has not yet clarified when the appeals and reconciliation processes will begin. If a significant number of applicants are declined, it could leave more than the estimated $4 billion for supplemental grants.