Join Zoom Office Hours with Nina
July 22, 2021
Dear Arts Action Fund Members,
Here’s a roundup of the latest updates on the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Shuttered Venue Operator Grants (SVOG) program. Please know that I have been representing you, our members, on daily stakeholders meetings with the SBA to ask questions, learn the latest updates, and elevate concerns and problems with specific applications.
SVOG PROGRAM REPORTS AND DATA
The SBA has a strong team now working to process 15,209 SVOG applications as quickly as possible. As of this morning, 9,362 awards have already been made totaling $7.11 billion. Below is a snapshot of the SBA’s weekly program report as of four days ago on Monday, 7/19/21.
Also available to the public is the SBA’s weekly data list of the names of SVOG grantees, award amounts, and locations. In order to give a visual depiction of how these COVID relief funds have been distributed to performing arts organizations and venues, museums, movie theaters, talent representatives and theater producers, Americans for the Arts downloaded the dataset into an interactive map. You can find the SVOG distribution map on our website at www.ArtsActionFund.org/svog-distribution-map.
IMPORTANT NEW FAQS RELEASED THIS AFTERNOON 7/22/21
Today, the SBA released a brand-new set of FAQs dated July 22, 2021, that include important new SVOG policies, including clarifying eligibility criteria, uses of funds as well as overall guidance on processing and appealing decisions. For all SVOG applicants, I encourage you to read these FAQs from top to bottom. Do not rely on the asterisk * to notify you of a new addition because it hasn’t been applied consistently. I will be reviewing these FAQs tonight and I will share my analysis with you and answer your questions tomorrow morning at 11:00am ET during my weekly Office Hours with Nina.
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR SVOG
The SBA will be announcing an updated timeline for processing applications soon, but here is what we know now.
- The SBA is required by statute to first process those applications in Priority 1, 2, and 3 that were submitted by June 26, 2021 (60 days after portal opened.) There were 14,591 submitted applications that fit this criteria and they have now all been reviewed. As of this morning, 76% of these applications have been decided with either an award or a decline. Approximately 3,481 applications are awaiting some kind of technical correction or revised budget by the applicant, or they are queued for final review of an approval for an award or a decline. Please check into your SVOG application portal to make sure there are no “Action Items” for you to submit.
- For those applicants that need to respond to some form of a technical correction, the SBA will send an email from an address ending in @sba.gov inviting those specific applicants to participate in live SBA Office Hours next week to answer your questions.
- After all 14,591 applications are fully processed, the SBA will send an email from an address ending in @sba.gov to only those applicants who received less award funds than they asked for, inviting them to request reconsideration of their award amount (see new FAQs on page 37). For those applicants that were declined an award, you will receive an email from an address ending in @sba.gov inviting you to appeal the decline (see new FAQs on page 36). There will be an expiration date to request these “reconsiderations” and “appeals” so please regularly check your inbox, clutter, and spam emails. This will likely take place in late July/early August.
- Changes to an SVOG grantee's approved budget have been relaxed. As long as the SVOG grantee stays within the limits of the eligible categories, they will be able to move expenditures between allowable categories without having to get pre-approval from the SBA. Final budgets will be submitted upon grant close-out (see new FAQs on page 26).
- Supplemental SVOG awards will be processed after the reconsideration and appeal stages. Eligible applicants will receive an email from an address ending in @sba.gov inviting them to apply for a supplemental award during a two week window. SBA has promised that this will be a very easy process with very little paperwork. Supplemental awards valued at 50% of the original SVOG full award (prior to subtracting PPP) will be given to recipients of first, second, and third priority round awards who suffered a 70% or greater EARNED revenue loss for the most recent calendar quarter in 2021 (see page 38, question 241 in the new FAQs). Alternative earned revenue loss comparison quarters will be available for seasonally operated entities. No SVOG applicant can exceed a combined total of $10 million in initial award and supplemental award funds. The supplemental process will likely happen in August/September.
- Based on remaining available funds, the SBA will then process those applications that were submitted after June 26, 2021. As of today, there are approximately 618 applicants in this category.
- There is not a formal deadline announced for submitting a new SVOG application. The SVOG portal is still open for new applications. There will likely be sufficient funds to cover these new applications, so please apply if you are one of the eligible entities (performing arts organization, performing arts venue, museums and movie theaters with fixed seating, talent representatives, or theater producers.)
If you have more federal COVID-19 relief questions, including the latest on Shuttered Venues Operator Grants, please join me at my next weekly Zoom Office Hours tomorrow Friday, July 23 @ 11:00 am ET to ask questions and share experiences.
Nina Ozlu Tunceli
To read an archive of Arts Action Fund federal updates, visit COVID-19 Arts Federal Policy Updates & Action Alerts.