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June 9, 2021
I have good news and bad news to share on the latest from SBA on the SVOG program for shuttered venue grants.
First the Bad News: SBA will miss today’s deadline of processing Priority One applications. Only 90 Priority One awards were granted out of 14,000 applications so far. SBA is still dealing with technical problems. The vast majority of Priority One applications are mistakenly being blocked because of a common name match on a federal Do Not Pay list, a Death Master list, or they just need to correct and resubmit the specific Tax Form 4506-T with “SVOG” pre-written on the top of the form.
Now the Good News: The SBA is moving the SVOG program out of the Office of Disaster Assistance and into the Office of Capital Access, which ran the highly successful $800 billion PPP program that concluded on May 31st. Additionally, SBA is integrating experts from the efficiently executed Restaurant Revitalization Fund to work on SVOG, along with other interagency reviewers. Perhaps, most importantly, the new SVOG team leaders are new Biden Administration political appointees, who are committed to cutting through the red tape to achieve fast results. Here are some additional developments that will be helpful:
- I will be attending new daily SVOG briefings beginning tomorrow at 10am ET. Please send me screenshots and clear explanations of any problems that you are running into and, with your permission, I will submit the cases directly to SVOG top leadership for resolution.
- SBA is also setting up new Office Hours and Weekly Emails beginning next week for all SVOG applicants. (Details to come.)
- For those of you on the “Do Not Pay List,” the SBA is proactively working to correct 99% of the problems on your behalf. You are being asked to do nothing at this time and you will receive a resolution email within the coming days. SBA will disregard basic name matches and only rely on multi-factor conclusive matches to hold up the review process. This correction alone will clear the block of 8,000 applications on the Do Not Pay list to just under 30! There is one exception to this advice of "do nothing" and that is if you are on the SAM.gov Do Not Pay list. In that case, you must correct the problem as soon as possible.
- For those of you who received notifications of needing to resubmit a 4506-T Form, you do need to do that promptly. If you need assistance, SVOG will be setting up their office hours for that kind of customized service to assist you. SVOG staff will also be calling to assist applicants as well. SBA acknowledged that 88% of corrected tax forms have already been completed by applicants. The common errors:
- You must use the exact SVOG Form 4506-T.
- You must limit how much info is permitted to just the tax year 2019.
- You must sign with a “wet signature” (ideally use blue ink pen).
- For those of you who have still not completed the SAM.gov process, SBA stated that they will not hold up your award announcements (if applicable). Instead, SBA staff will assist the 2,500+ applicants in finalizing the SAM.gov registration before dispersing funds.
- For those of you who have been locked out of your online application in the SVOG portal, it likely happened because you did not submit a corrected Form 4506-T in the allotted time. SBA recognizes that they put too short of a cure time of just 3-4 days on these requests. This will now be extended to 15 days. They ask you to call the SVOG Tech Hotline at 1-800-659-2955 and ask to re-set your online account so you can upload the new form.
- For those of you who have been locked out of your online account because your Google Authenticator changed and you need a new QR code to sync with, please call the SVOG Tech Hotline at 1-800-659-2955 and ask for a new QR code to be emailed to you so you can sync with your new Google Authenticator app.
- SBA will begin also reviewing Priority Two applications, but Priority One applications will still be the top priority in order of receipt.
- Priority Three applications are still set to be reviewed on June 25th.
- Below are the latest SVOG program updates and graphics as of 6-9-21:
If you have other federal COVID-19 relief questions, please join me at my next weekly Zoom Office Hours on Friday, June 11th @ 11:00 am ET to ask questions and share experiences. Please remember, in honor of the Juneteenth holiday, we will not be holding weekly Office Hours on the following Friday, June 18th.
Nina Ozlu Tunceli
To read an archive of Arts Action Fund federal updates, visit COVID-19 Arts Federal Policy Updates & Action Alerts.