The Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) will provide technical assistance to eligible businesses applying for the highly anticipated Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG). The long-awaited $16 billion fund will provide economic relief to live venue operators, promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, motion picture theatre operators, talent agencies, relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who were devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. SVOG is a first come, first served grant, and all submitted applications will be processed in the order they are received. OED will be available to provide technical assistance starting April 8 and is encouraging all eligible applicants be prepared to submit their application when the grant is open.
“Seattle’s many small venues are part of what make our City one of the best places in the world to enjoy art, music, film, and theatre — but this past year has devastated our artists, creative industry, and entertainment venues. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn have impacted so many Seattle businesses, and too many neighborhood favorites have had to close their doors for good,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “While our City has responded quickly over the past year to help support our small businesses, many of our small venue owners and operators are still facing an uncertain future and a long road to recovery as our city opens up and live performances become possible again. This federal program will finally be available this week to help support such an important sector of our city’s economy.”
All applicants interested in applying for SVOG should register with the U.S. Small Business Administration via their application portal to receive an email when the electronic application process is available. To be eligible for SVOG, applicants must:
- Have been in operation as of February 29, 2020;
- Provide a DUNS number and a System for Award Management Account (SAM) number and,
- Submit a plan for how they will spend the grant they receive.
The Office of Management and Budgets has published a document that shows what the SVOG application might look like.
Applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross 2019 earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. Additionally, grants must be used for expenses such as payroll costs, rent, utilities and/or personal protective equipment. Venues or promoters who received a Paycheck Protection Program loan after December 27, will have their SVOG award reduced by the PPP loan amount they previously received. All eligible applicants can apply for all SBA disaster relief products including SVOG, PPP and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on our businesses that rely on large groups of people gathering such as nightclubs, movie theaters, and live music venues. Some businesses have pivoted their operations to respond to the public health crisis, however certain businesses — like those that would be eligible for SVOG — have not had that same opportunity given the nature of their work,” said Pamela Banks, Interim Director of OED. “Despite these challenges, I have been amazed at the resiliency these businesses have had, the ways in which the community has supported each other, and am so glad these resources designed for these type of businesses are finally available. As Seattle begins to recover, we must continue to push for additional assistance to ensure equitable economic opportunities for those individuals, businesses, and sectors that have suffered the greatest economic loss.”
“SVOG is the single most important instrument that could have happened for music venues, promoters, talent buyers, etc. after this brutal year and change. Without it 1000’s of venues would have closed across the country effecting millions and millions of people. There simply are not words to express how important this piece of legislation was for us,” says Steven Severin, member of the Washington Nightlife Music Association (WANMA) and co-owner of Neumos, a live music venue in Seattle. “99.9% of businesses can’t survive over a year with no income. This gives us a step into a new light and day to do what we do, and that’s playing a role in making live music happen. We’ve (WANMA) scoured every inch of our state to make sure that folks know it’s something that’s available to them so everybody that can get help does. We don’t want to leave anyone out.”
For more information on SVOG, visit SBA’s website where video tutorials and FAQs are available, or OED’s COVID-19 Small Business Grants page. OED is providing assistance for grant opportunities such as SVOG, PPP, and EIDL, continues to assist business owners understand what other resources may be available to them, and provides in-language supports to access city, state and federal resources. Businesses can access this assistance by calling 206-684-8090 or emailing email@example.com. Bilingual assistance is available in Amharic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Somali, Spanish, Thai, Tigrinya and Vietnamese. To request in-language assistance, businesses can call 206-684-8090 and note the following information: your name, phone number, preferred language and the type of support you need.
The Seattle Office of Economic Development is committed to building an equitable and inclusive economy that benefits the whole city by promoting access to economic opportunities for all of Seattle’s diverse communities. For more information, visit seattle.gov/economicdevelopment.