With President Joe Biden signing into law the American Rescue Plan, members of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), such as Merriweather Post Pavilion, have expressed appreciation that it includes Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s amendment to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) provisions and supports its passage in the upcoming COVID-19 Relief Bill.

The previous law forbade eligible entities to apply for both Payroll Protection Plan (PPP2) after Dec. 27, 2020, and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG, formerly known as the Save Our Stages Act). The revised provision enables eligible entities to apply for PPP2 starting now until March 31, 2021, and also seek SVOG when the applications are made available by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

The SBA has yet to set a date to accept SVOG applications.

NIVA members, devastated by having no income for a year and the overhead that comes with operating a performance venue, have been anxiously awaiting the SVOG application forms; many venues have gone under while waiting to access this program.

The PPP2 money can help eligible independent venues and promoters to hold on until SVOG funding starts being distributed. Any amount of PPP2 money taken by a recipient will be reduced from SVOG funds, i.e., if a venue is eligible for $100,000 SVOG and they have taken $25,000 in PPP2 funds, their SVOG cannot exceed $75,000.

Other important additions to the provision are an additional $1.25 billion added to the SVOG fund and $840,000 earmarked for the SBA staff to facilitate COVID-19-related programs.