The new U.S. stimulus packages includes the $15B Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. This is the program name for what was known as the Save Our Stages Act, which was championed by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and enjoyed broad bipartisan support. The program will be administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
On January 14, Music Everywhere CLT, along with the Charlotte Independent Venue Alliance, Charlotte Center City Partners, and the Arts and Science Council, hosted the first a series of Zoom calls to discuss the latest on the SVO program. Featured speakers included Gregg McCraw of MaxxMusic and a NIVA organizer; Tom Gabbard, CEO of Blumenthal Performing Arts; and John Carpenter, Principal with Cherry Bekaert LLP. The call was moderated by Rick Thurmond of Charlotte Center City Partners and Music Everywhere CLT. Please see below for notes and resources from that call.
We will continue to update this page with new information after each call, which will be every other Thursday at 4pm. Register here for that call.
NIVA Resource Page: This is the best place to start. Contains all the key info on who is eligible and how it works, based on current information
Important things you can do NOW
1. If you have not officially applied to be a NIVA member (to be clear, applied using the new form at the end of 2020 and received an official NIVA Membership number), apply now While it isn’t a requirement to be an official NIVA member to receive SOS, it increases the odds as you will have access to the best advice & tools.
2. If you are a promoter, talent buyer, etc., then NITO is the organization for you.
3. You will need a DUNS and SAMS number for your business to receive grant money from the SBA (SBA is administering this program, not NIVA). Here is the grant instruction web site from gov.com. If you have a DUNS number, you can skip this step. If you aren’t sure, you can check here. If you don’t have a number yet, you can start the process there as well.
5. Get your books in order. If you need help, SBA can assist for free. You will need this to 1) determine your priority in applying and 2) to determine the amount you are eligible to receive. It is not clear yet if SBA will request tax returns for 2019 or financials from your accountant on a quarterly or monthly basis.
6. You'll need docs that will allow you to calculate the average number of qualifying employees you had over the prior 12 months.
7. You'll need to know your gross earned revenue losses on a 2019-2020 quarter-to-quarter comparison basis. For example, Q2 2019 compared to Q2 2020.
8. Go ahead and make PDFs of things like floor plans (to show dedicated audience space, seated vs. non-seated, etc.), contract copies and other evidence that you are a live-performance venue.
9. You can email the SBA with specific questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Damn fine analysis of the SVO program from the Proskauer law firm.
- Arts NC Excellent resource for arts nonprofits
- Additional assistance for small-business owners (good place to start if you need help getting books in order, etc.):
- Excellent backgrounder on how this whole thing came about. Great lesson in the power of organizing to advocate: How Music Venues Got Their Own Covid Relief Plan