SBA targets early April for Shuttered Venue Operators Grant launch

By Jeff Drew

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) expects to begin accepting applications in early April for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program.

The SBA has not set an exact date for launching the program, which was authorized when the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, P.L. 116-260, was signed into law in late December. But an agency spokesperson on Friday did confirm reports by Politico and others that the SBA is aiming to open the program early next month.

The Economic Aid Act funded the SVOG program with $15 billion to provide eligible applicants with grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, up to a maximum of $10 million.

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, H.R. 1319, which President Joe Biden signed into law Thursday, includes an additional $1.25 billion in funding for the SVOG program and also allows eligible entities that receive a first- or second-draw Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan after Dec. 27, 2020, to also receive an SVOG. Receiving or even having open applications for both programs had been prohibited, but the new law makes it possible for venue operators to receive both, provided the amount of the SVOG is reduced by the amount of PPP funds approved.

Entities eligible to apply for an SVOG include live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theater operators, and talent representatives.

The SBA on Thursday issued an updated preliminary checklist of documents SVOG applicants may be required to submit. The revised checklist clarifies that eligible applicants that do not have an audited financial statement for 2019 are not required to provide one and do not have to comply with the requirement for a single audit unless they expended $750,000 or more in federal funds during 2019.

The checklist was first issued March 5, along with an updated list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and a table summarizing SVOG eligibility requirements. The application has not yet been released.

AICPA experts discuss the latest on the PPP and other small business aid programs during a virtual town hall held every other week. The webcasts, which provide CPE credit, are free to AICPA members and $39.99 for nonmembers. Go to the AICPA Town Hall Series webpage for more information and to register. Recordings of Town Hall events are available to view for free on AICPA TV.

The AICPA’s Paycheck Protection Program Resources page houses resources and tools produced by the AICPA to help address the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Accounting firms can prepare and process applications for the PPP on the CPA Business Funding Portal, created by the AICPA, CPA.com, and fintech partner Biz2Credit.

For more news and reporting on the coronavirus and how CPAs can handle challenges related to the outbreak, visit the JofA’s coronavirus resources page or subscribe to our email alerts for breaking PPP news.

Jeff Drew (Jeff.Drew@aicpa-cima.com) is a JofA senior editor.

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