SVOG Program Updates Coming Fast Now

While I am pretty sure people are following the developments of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program pretty closely and are probably getting regular updates from their state and industry service organizations, I figure it doesn’t hurt to put reminders and updates out there myself.

Especially since all the updates I have been getting from service organizations haven’t pointed out some important distinctions between the FAQs the Small Business Administration is putting out on a weekly basis now. (Likewise, assume I am not pointing out the distinctions that are important to you and read through them!)

For example, about a week or two ago they started posting check lists of materials you should be collecting in advance of the opening of the application period which appears to be on track to happen in early April. The latest version of the check list can be found here, but since they are updating between Thursdays-Sundays, if you are reading this after March 18 you are better off going to the main page.

The same goes with the regular FAQ document. The passage of the American Rescue Plan has caused sections of the FAQ to be removed in the March 12 version.

For example, the March 5 version had this question:

6.Can an entity apply for a PPP loan now and decide later on the loan if it did not receive an SVOG? At what stage is a PPP loan considered “received”?

but it is now replaced with:

6.*No longer relevant / deleted per the American Rescue Plan being signed into law.

Though if you scroll down, you will see a couple new points of information have been added to that section which address PPP loans and SVOG funding:

21.*How will receiving a PPP loan affect an eligible entity’s SVOG award?

22.*If a portion of my PPP loan was forgiven, will that affect how much of the loan amount is deducted from my SVOG?

As before, anything that has been updated since the last FAQ has an asterisk. But you should through everything thoroughly in case you missed an update.

Among the latest updates are answers to questions about whether the payout will be lump sum or multiple payments. Answer – it depends on a number of factors. See page 16

Should you use fiscal year 2019 or calendar year 2019? – You can use either, but if you apply for the supplemental funding phase you need to use the same time frame.

There was also a new entry answering questions about whether sponsorships should be counted as earned revenue since donations are not counted as such. The answer is different for commercial and non-profit performing arts entities:

Because it represents payment made in exchange for a service (i.e., recognition or advertising), sponsorship payments (such as naming rights) received by for-profit entities will be considered earned revenue. Like the treatment afforded memberships and fundraising events, sponsorship payments received by non-profits will be considered part earned revenue and part gross revenue. In such cases, the sponsorship payment amount a non-profit receives that represents a fair market value for services in exchange (i.e. promotion, free admission, use of facilities) will be deemed earned revenue and the portion of the sponsorship payment that exceeds that amount will be deemed a contribution and thus gross revenue…

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

I am currently the Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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