Movie Theaters, Live Venues Can Start Applying For Covid-19 Relief Grants On April 8

It’s taken more than three months, but the Small Business Administration is getting ready to start taking applications from distressed theaters and live venues seeking federal grants to make up for revenue declines due to Covid-19 closures.

More than $16 billion has been allocated for the venues, including an initial $15 billion that was included in the late December Covid-19 relief bill and more than $1 billion in additional funds that were included in the American Rescue Plan.

The SBA opened a portal for submitting applications to the program, Shuttered Venue Operators Grants.

Those eligible include live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, movie theatre operators and talent representatives. Entities that applied and received Paycheck Protection Program loans are eligible, but they no longer can receive those loans if they get the venue grants. Those that received loans after Dec. 27 will have the loan amounts deducted from the venue grants.

Larger entities, like theater chains with more than 500 employees and those that are publicly traded, do not qualify.

Those eligible can apply for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant set at $10 million. The program set aside $2 billion for businesses with up to 50 full-time employees. The SBA also unveiled a checklist of documents that applicants must provide.

The SBA also will host an informational webinar on March 30 for potential applicants.