Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program

McGlinchey Stafford

McGlinchey Stafford

Promoters and Agents in the Performing Arts –
Is the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program for you, too?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has opened the application process for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program.*


*The SBA opened the application process on Thursday, April 8, but has temporarily suspended the SVOG application portal due to technical difficulties. Applicants may continue to register for a new account, and the SBA will share advance notice of the time and date before the reopening.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. The SVOG is not limited to owners of performance venues. Promoters and talent agents (defined below) also are eligible for a SVOG.

Entities eligible for the grant (Eligible Entities) may be live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts, organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators, and talent representatives, but the entity must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020.

A promoter is an entity or individual that organizes live events by performing artists and carries out tasks (other than as a vendor or service provider) such as renting a performance site, contracting with artists or a production company for the performance, marketing events, and collecting gate receipts. A promoter must have: (1) a profit (net income or loss) interest in the live event’s presentation; and (2) sole or joint rights to control the financial terms of the live event’s presentation, use of the venue, and/or marketing of the event. Promoters may own and/or operate live venues or contract for space and may include festival promoters or the promotion of live performing arts events at outdoor, festival spaces that have all the required characteristics of a qualifying venue.

A talent representative is an agent or manager for whom no less than 70% of their business operations (as measured with reference to their overall revenues, costs, devotion of time, contracts, and other indicia of business activity) involves the representation or management of two or more artists or entertainers. These operations must involve booking or representing musicians, comedians, actors, or similar performing artists primarily at live events staged in venues or at festivals in exchange for compensation founded on the number of tickets sold or a similar basis.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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