The U.S. Small Business Administration officially opened the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal April 8, 2021 at 11 a.m. CDT for operators of live venues, live performing arts organizations, museums and movie theatres, as well as live venue promoters, theatrical producers and talent representatives to apply for critical economic relief, as those eligible entities are some of the first that had to shutter their doors a year ago in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SVOG program was appropriated more than $16.2 billion for grants via the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act and the American Rescue Plan Act. Of these funds, at least $2 billion is reserved for eligible SVOG applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45 percent of their gross earned revenue up to a maximum amount of $10 million for a single grant.

The SBA is accepting SVOG applications on a first-in, first-out basis and allocating applicants to respective priority periods as it receives applications. The first 14 days of SVOG awards, which are expected to begin in late April, will be dedicated to entities that suffered a 90 percent or greater revenue loss between April and December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The second 14 days (days 15-28) will include entities that suffered a 70 percent or greater revenue loss between April and December 2020. Following those periods, SVOG awards will include entities that suffered a 25 percent or greater revenue loss between one quarter of 2019 and the corresponding quarter of 2020.

In addition, SBA’s resource partners, including SCORE Mentors, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers, are available to provide entities with individual guidance on their applications. Applicants can find a local resource partner via SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/local-assistance or via a ZIP code at www.sba.gov/localassistance.