Relief Update: American Rescue Plan Info and SVOG Program Starts April 8

Chorus America is working with our advocacy partners to stay on top of the latest developments as the federal government enacts new forms of relief. Here are two important pieces of information: a comprehensive update on the American Rescue Plan and an announcement that the SVOG program will start April 8.

Under the new terms of the American Rescue Plan, 2021 PPP recipients will be eligible to apply for a Shuttered Venues Operators Grant (SVOG) and deduct the value of their 2021 PPP loan from the applicant's SVOG maximum grant amount.

American Rescue Plan Act Information (March 16, 2021)

The Performing Arts Alliance (PAA), of which Chorus America is a member, shared a comprehensive update on the American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Biden. The plan will extend many current COVID-19 relief provisions and provide critical new ones. Update highlights are below; you can read the full update and sign up to receive news directly from the PAA here.

  • Paycheck Protection Program: An additional $7.25 billion will be added to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) resources, and eligibility changes will allow nonprofits with no more than 500 employees at each location to be eligible for forgivable loans. As of March 7, the SBA PPP Data show that $165 billion of the $280 billion of PPP funding made available for 2021 has been distributed to loan applicants. The 2021 PPP program is now open for all eligible applicants for first and second draws and is currently slated to close on March 31, 2021.

  • New Dual Eligibility for Shuttered Venue Operators Grants and PPP: Rules that had required applicants to choose between seeking a 2021 PPP loan or a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant have changed.

    Under the new terms of the American Rescue Plan, 2021 PPP recipients will be eligible to apply for a Shuttered Venues Operators Grant (SVOG) and deduct the value of their 2021 PPP loan from the applicant's SVOG maximum grant amount (45% of 2019 earned revenue, capped at $10 million).

    While the SVOG program has not yet opened for applications, the Small Business Administration is releasing eligibility guidance on the SVOG website and through continuously updated SVOG Frequently Asked Questions. SBA FAQ's indicate eligibility for the 28-day priority period for receiving Shuttered Venue grants will be determined based on declines in gross revenue (90% for the first fourteen days and 70% for the second fourteen days), from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019. All SVOG applicants must demonstrate a 25% decline in earned revenue, in one calendar quarter of 2020, compared to the same quarter in 2019.

    An additional $1.25 billion in funding will be available to support the SVOG program, bringing total funding to $16.25 billion.

  • Employee Retention Tax Credit: The refundable payroll tax credits that are currently available in the first two quarters of 2021 will be extended through the remainder of the calendar year.

  • National Endowment for the Arts COVID-19 Relief: The National Endowment for the Arts will receive an additional $135 million -- its largest emergency funding -- in dedicated funding, with 40% allocated to state/regional arts agencies and 60% to support direct grants to organizations. Here is an FAQ with more information. The NEA will release further information about the process and timeframe for implementing new grants soon, and anticipates guidelines being available in late April

SVOG Program to Start on April 8 (March 19, 2021) The U.S. Small Business Administration is launching a splash page for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal today in anticipation of opening applications for the much-anticipated critical economic relief program on Thursday, April 8, 2021. The SBA will host a national informational webinar to highlight the application process for potential eligible entities from 2:30 to 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Register here.

This website which includes frequently asked questions and other SVOG details, is the best source for information for those looking to apply for a grant. To prepare in advance of the SVOG application portal opening on April 8, potential applicants should get registered in the federal government’s System for Award Management (, as this is required for an entity to receive an SVOG, and reference the preliminary application checklist and eligibility requirements.