May 28, 2021

On May 26, 2021, the Small Business Administration (SBA) posted a new set of Frequently Asked Questions for Awardees approved for a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG), as grant notifications for the first award recipients for this critical form of COVID-19 relief are issued this week. 

Notification of an SVOG award initiates a series of additional steps required for grantees to receive grant funding. The three-page guide addresses initial questions about fund disbursement, documentation requirements, how to seek technical assistance with the post-award process, and more. 

The SBA has confirmed that applicants in the 14-day Priority One grant category (those that have experienced a 90% or greater gross revenue loss) have begun receiving award announcements this week. The agency anticipates that the 14-day Priority Two grant award announcements will begin on June 10 (for applicants with a 70% or greater gross revenue loss), and the remaining grants will then be announced for eligible non-priority applicants, starting on Friday, June 25.

Grant announcements will indicate that an applicant has been approved for an award, declined for an award, or that further information is required. For those declined, the opportunity to re-apply may be available in some circumstances. Further information about the re-application process will be made available at a later date. The SBA’s Post-Application FAQ and the League of American Orchestras’ update from earlier this week provide more details about the timing and next steps in the continuing grant review process.

In written Congressional testimony (PDF) this week, SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman stated that as of May 24, 2021, the $16 billion Shuttered Venues program has received 12,841 applications for $11 billion in requested funds. This would indicate funds remain available to support all eligible applications to date and new applications not yet received, and that funding may be available for supplemental grants to applicants with a sustained 70% or greater gross revenue loss. The SBA has not yet released detailed information regarding the procedure for seeking supplemental grants, which the Shuttered Venue statute specifies can be administered after the SBA has completed grant decisions on initial applications received within the first 60 days of the grant program opening (April 26, 2021). 

The SBA plans to issue a public announcement on Tuesday, June 1 with more detailed information and data about the initial Shuttered Venue awards. The SBA will also communicate directly with applicants regarding the newly posted FAQs and further information about next steps in the grant review and announcement process.

The League of American Orchestras remains in dialogue with the SBA regarding the details of Shuttered Venue Operators Grant implementation and is sharing real-time updates with orchestras through the online discussion channels for Disaster Relief and Finance Directors on League360. Find links and more information in our Shuttered Venue information center, and learn more about the full array of relief available in the League’s Federal COVID-19 Resource Center.

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