Detroit Regional Chamber > What You Need to Know: Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Application Process

What You Need to Know: Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Application Process

March 31, 2021
UPDATE (April 23, 2021): The SBA announced that SVOG application portal will be relaunched Saturday, April 24.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is rolling out its Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application on April 8. Congress has allocated $16 billion for this program. These grants are for businesses that collect their main source of income from venues and live entertainment, such as theaters, live venues, museums, zoos, and movie theaters. The awarded grant monies can be used for typical business expenses, such as rent, debts, salaries, and more.

The awarding of the grants will be based on needs from businesses, sorted into three priorities. The first priority group will be those venues that have suffered 90% or greater in revenue loss from April 2020 through December 2020. After 14 days, the second priority group will be considered, which are those businesses that have suffered a revenue loss of 70% or greater in the same time frame. Lastly, after those 14 days, the third priority group will be reviewed for awards, which includes businesses that demonstrate a 25% or greater loss in earned revenue in a quarter of 2020 compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019.

Even if your business may not qualify for the first group, SBA recommends applying as soon as possible for the grant, as SBA will be responsible for sorting businesses into priority groups and have emphasized those who submit their applications first will be considered first for an SVOG.

Some businesses may experience ineligibility. Common ineligibility factors include a business’ main source of revenue not being from live venues – such as businesses that host an annual event or festival – if a corporation owns more than 51% of your business, if you were not in operation prior to Feb. 29 of 2020, or if you are a publicly traded or owned by a publicly traded corporation.

Applications for SVOG open on April 8, but there are many steps that you should be taking right now to ensure your application is received as soon as SBA begins processing awards.

  • Make sure to register on, which is the website the government uses for financial awards.
  • Sign up for updates at, which will alert you of when the SBA begins processing awards and of any upcoming informational sessions.
  • Read the FAQs on the aforementioned SVOG website, run through the application checklist to ensure they have all materials required for the application, and obtain a DUNS number. DUNS numbers can take a week to process, if your business has not obtained its DUNS in the past year, this should be a priority.

Materials that will be required for the application include financial statements – such as tax returns from 2019 and 2020 – payroll statements, and corporation documents if applicable, as well as venue-specific requirements. To prevent fraud, SBA is requiring many businesses to submit pictures of their venues, including advertisements, tickets to events that have occurred in the past, and even floor plans.

To view more information on the SVOG, including an in-depth explanation of eligibility and detailed application guides, please visit