Everything You Need to Know About the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

For restaurants, catering businesses, and venues, there’s economic help on the way in the form of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. The SVOG program is part of the recently-passed American Rescue Plan Act and is aimed at bringing economic aid to the hard-hit small businesses and venues around the country.

The application process for SVOG opens on April 8th and because there’s a lot of information as well as many questions surrounding this new grant, we’ve got everything you need to know about this economic grant right here!


The program is part of the American Rescue Plan Act and is offering over $16 billion in grants to “shuttered” venues.

According to the Small Business Administration — “Eligible applicants may qualify for grants up to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million.”

Two billion of the $16 billion grant program is reserved specifically for applicants with up to 50 full-time employees.

Who Can Apply?

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos, and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent reps
  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements.

Additional eligibility requirements —

  • Must have been in operation as of February 29th, 2020.
  • Had gross earned revenue during any of the first, second, third, or fourth quarter in 2020 that demonstrated not less than a 25% reduction from the gross earned revenue of such business during the corresponding quarter in 2019.
  • The venues or promoters who received a PPP loan on or after December 27th, 2020 will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount.

What if you’ve already received — or want to apply for — a PPP loan? Can you still get a SVOG?

  • Businesses may not apply for a PPP loan after receiving SVOG.
  • Businesses who have received a PPP load can still apply for a SVOG, but the amount of the PPP will be deducted from SVOG.
  • Businesses can apply for an EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan), but it can’t be used for the same purpose/costs as PPP.

Learn more about the program details here.

How Grant Amounts Are Determined

SVOG grant totals will be determined by the following factors, according to the SBA —

  • For eligible entities in operation on January 1st, 2019, grant amounts will be equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue OR $10 million (whichever is less).
  • For eligible entities that began AFTER January 1st, 2019, grant amounts will be for the average monthly gross earned revenue for each full month that they were operating during 2019 — multiplied by six unless it is more than $10 million in which case the business will cap off at 10 million.

Download the full Eligibility Requirement Details from the SBA for the SVOG program here.

How Grant Funds Can Be Used

According to the SBA, funds from this grant program can be used in the following ways —

  • Payroll costs
  • Utility payments
  • Rent payments
  • Scheduled mortgage payments (not including prepayment of principal)
  • Scheduled debt payments (not including prepayment of principal on any indebtedness incurred in the ordinary course of business prior to February 15, 2020)
  • Worker protection expenditures
  • Payments to independent contractors (not to exceed $100,000 in annual compensation per contractor)
  • Other ordinary and necessary business expenses, including maintenance costs
  • Administrative costs (including fees and licensing)
  • State and local taxes and fees
  • Operating leases in effect as of February 15, 2020
  • Insurance payments
  • Advertising, production transportation, and capital expenditures related to producing a theatrical or live performing arts production. (May not be the primary use of funds)
  • (List Source: Small Business Administration.)

For more details, including what the grants cannot be used for, watch this clip from the SBA.

How to Apply for the Grant

Start by download the SBA’s Preliminary Application Checklist. This will walk you through all the steps to apply for the program.

The application process for this program opens on April 8th and their will be a priority given to businesses who have suffered the greatest economic loss.

Start your application here.


  • Get access to all the SBA’s topical instructional videos for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant here.

Get more help by visiting our COVID-19 Relief Resources page.


Written by Corrie McGee