SVOG Update 5/24/21

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Arts Action Fund COVID-19 Resources PagePost-SVOG Application faqs


May 24, 2021

Today, I participated in another SBA briefing on the status of the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG) application and awards process. Here is the latest:

  • SBA will begin notifying the first batch of Priority 1 applicants by email of their awards this week. Additional batches of Priority 1 award notifications are expected the following week, but the SBA wanted to meet their deadline of beginning to announce awards by late May.
  • SBA indicated that they have 400 Application Reviewers who have opened and begun reviewing every submitted application, regardless of which priority level they are in. There appears to be a glitch in the system in that some applications are noted in the portal as “Under Review” while others are not. In fact, all applications are under review, and some are even further along with the notation of “Final Review.”
  • SBA acknowledged that they incorrectly sent out emails to some applicants stating their application had been started, but not officially submitted yet. In fact, many of these applications had been officially submitted.
  • SBA reaffirmed that SVOG awards will still be released on a first in, first out basis within each priority group.
  • SBA acknowledged that they continue to see technical errors with the IRS tax form 4506-T and they are attempting to first cure the problem on behalf of applicants, when possible. Otherwise, they are emailing the applicants directly with instructions to fix the problem and they assure us that applicants will not lose their spot in the queue as a result.
  • SBA also acknowledged that they continue to hear of problems with their Technical Assistance Call Center. They have now corrected the connection problem of transferring calls between two tech centers, so your calls are no longer dropped. Please be sure you are calling the correct number, as SBA has multiple call centers for various issues. The only number to call for SVOG technical questions is 1-800-659-2955.
  • SBA confirmed that there are still ample funds and all eligible organizations and individuals are encouraged to still apply at
  • SBA is expected to publish additional FAQs this week. Please check their website regularly.
  • While the SBA has not officially released updated stats on the number of SVOG applications, they did provide some updated numbers to a media source last week. As of May 20th, 12,213 SVOG applications have been submitted to the SBA, of which 5,004 were from Live Venue Operators/Promoters, 2,853 from Live Performing Arts Organizations, and 1,411 from Talent Representatives.

If you’re still not sure about applying or have other federal COVID-19 relief questions, please join me at my next weekly Zoom Office Hours on Friday, May 28th @ 11:00 am ET to ask questions and share experiences.

Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director

To read an archive of Arts Action Fund federal updates, visit COVID-19 Arts Federal Policy Updates & Action Alerts.