SBA Releases FAQ for Entertainment Venue Relief Grants

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Small Business Administration has released a new FAQ for businesses seeking Shuttered Venue Operators Grants, outlining who is eligible, how much money they can receive and how the funds can be used.

Applications for the money from the $15 billion grant pool are not yet open. However, the SBA has said it will set aside at least $2 billion during the first 59 days of the program for venues with up to 50 employees. Businesses that received for Paycheck Protection Program loans after Dec. 27, 2020, are not eligible for Shuttered Venue Operators Grants.

Application periods will be based on how much revenue a venue lost between April and December, with the first 14 day reserved for those that had year-over-year losses of 90% or more, followed by those with losses between 70% and 89% for the second two-week period. 

After the first and second priority awards are made, applications will open for entities that had 25% or greater loss between comparable quarters.

Funds can be used to pay for business expenses, including ticket refunds, expenses related to live productions and payments to independent contractors.

The list of venues eligible for the grant include live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts groups, museums, movie theaters and talent representatives. Some government-owned entities are also eligible, provided it does not operate other types of businesses. Businesses must have been in operation as of Feb. 29, 2020, to apply.

Not eligible are traveling venues – entities must have defined performance and audience spaces – and drive-in theaters.

Grant applications need to register at the federal System for Award Management site,, to apply. Applications must use a DUNS identification number; individual taxpayer or employer identification numbers will not be accepted.

The full FAQ can be read HERE.

Pictured: Opening night at the Robins Theater in Warren in December 2019.

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