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COVID-19 Relief Legislation Creates Shuttered Venue Grants

January 12, 2021


The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, provides an opportunity for grants to shuttered venue operators, including live venue operators, theatrical producers, performing arts operators, nonprofit museums, and others. These grants are available to nonprofit and for-profit venues and will be administered by the U.S. Small Business Association. Among the requirements for grant eligibility, a venue must have at least a 25% reduction in revenue during 2020 as compared to the same quarter in 2019. Generally, initial grant amounts will be 45% of the revenue earned during 2019. Supplemental grants may also be made under this program based on reduced 2021 revenue but will be 50% of the initial grant. The total of initial and supplemental grants may not exceed $10 million.

Eligible applicants are:

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • “Relevant” museum operators
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives

Applicants must meet the following requirements for eligibility:

  • Have been fully operational on Feb. 29, 2020
  • Have earned revenue in any quarter of 2020 that fell by at least 25% during the same quarter in 2019
  • Intend to resume or continue operations
  • Meet additional venue-specific requirements provided by the act

The applicant will be ineligible for the grant for any of the following reasons:

  • The applicant, the majority owner of the applicant, or a person controlling the applicant:
    • Is an issuer of securities on a national exchange
    • Receives more than 10% of revenue from federal funding
    • Has more than two of the following characteristics:
      • Operates businesses in more than one country
      • Operates in more than 10 states
      • Employed more than 500 employees as of Feb. 29, 2020
  • The applicant received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan after Dec. 27, 2020.
  • The applicant presents performances of a prurient sexual nature.

In order to receive a grant, applicants will need to demonstrate economic need. Additionally, there will be a prioritization in the disbursement of grants. The first priority period will be open for applicants who had a 90% loss in revenue, and the second priority period will be open for applicants who had a 70% loss in revenue. Following the priority period, all other applicants will be eligible to receive a grant. Additional funds have been appropriated for eligible applicants with 50 or fewer full-time employees.

Because of the interplay with the PPP loans, careful consideration should be given for entities who may be eligible for both programs. Please contact your KSM advisor for more details.

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