Shuttered Venue Clarity, Part 2


We talked a bit about the parameters of the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG) in Part 1 and hopefully you’ve read the SBA’s latest FAQs, so let’s dig into the application and support materials now. For the purposes of this series I’ll be talking to the live venue operators among you. Museums, motion picture theatre operators, and talent representatives are also (potentially) eligible, but they require different supporting documents.

  • Yes, you need a floor plan proving that you have defined performance and audience spaces
    • No, you don’t need fixed seating (museums do, though)
  • Yes, you need documents to show you have audio mixing equipment, a public address system, and a lighting rig (see the FAQs for definitions of these items)
    • No, you don’t absolutely have to have receipts and/or itemized insurance documentation. The SBA has said that rental receipts, photographs, tech specification sheets, and/or production reimbursement receipts are all valid evidence.
  • Yes, you can use screenshots of your website and/or social media posts as part of your “marketing materials.”
  • Yes, if your organization goes through an annual audit, you need to submit your 2019 audit
    • If you have your FY20 audit, I would recommend submitting that as well. The SBA specifically requests tax returns for both 2019 and 2020.
    • No, if you don’t already get audits, you don’t have to provide one
    • However, if you get more than $750,000 in federal support this fiscal year you will have to do a Single Audit at the end of your fiscal year. You can read a lot more about that here; it’s good to be prepared.
  • Yes, a Form 990 is acceptable for the tax return requirement, even though it is not currently listed on the draft application available on the OMB website.
  • Yes, you have to have a principal officer sign your Quarterly Income Statements. This is important, don’t get your application kicked back on a technicality.
  • Yes, you have a choice when it comes to your employee list. You can provide either a
    • Current list of employees, or
    • The most recent employee list prior to the venue being shuttered
  • No, you don’t have to convert all your financials into accrual if you use the cash method of accounting.
    • However, the accrual method will be used to determine whether you qualify for one of the priority periods so you will need your Apr-Dec (2019 and 2020) quarter earned revenue presented in accrual.

Next, we’ll talk about how you can use SVOG funds (there are a lot of ways!). Post your questions below!

4 thoughts on “Shuttered Venue Clarity, Part 2

  1. Hi Amy –

    For us outdoor Shakespeare folks that build our playing space each summer and have audiences bring their own chairs – do you think we’ll meet the “have a defined performance area” qualification? Delaware Shakespeare performs at a county park that is just a chunk of lawn 11 out of 12 months of the year. We create a performance area – building a stage and determining what the seating area will be. I’m doubtful that we’ll qualify, but it’s hard to find any definition of “defined performance area” that is quite as granular as I’m looking for!

    1. Hey David, everything so far points to the idea that you will qualify because you will be able to provide photos of your previous productions that show a defined playing and audience space. I hope they will give us more guidance during the webinar today!

      1. Thanks, Amy. Sadly that added guidance didn’t come during the webinar!

        1. No, you are right, they didn’t! Do you have a contact at a local Small Business Development Center? They seem to have direct lines to the SBA to get answers to questions; our local SBDC has certainly helped us.

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