Recent Advocacy News

Posted By Laurie Baskin 9/10/2021 5:33:54 PM
TCG is able to share some updates regarding the Supplemental and Reconsideration phases of the SVOG program based on an SBA stakeholder briefing earlier today: Supplemental invitations are still being sent out – they have been issued in batches and they are not finished. In response to some ...

Posted By Laurie Baskin 8/30/2021 2:58:40 PM
Your voice has made a real difference as Congress shapes relief and recovery resources, and it's time to be heard once again! In the coming weeks, Congress will finalize the contents of massive legislative vehicles intended to build the nation's infrastructure and provide resources to support recovery ...
Posted By Laurie Baskin 8/30/2021 1:12:23 PM
TCG joins nonprofits throughout the country urging Congress to retain the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) for our sector in the 4th Quarter of 2021. The American Rescue Plan Act added the 3rd and 4th Quarters of ERTC to provide much-needed relief to nonprofits and small businesses, but now access ...
Posted By Laurie Baskin 8/27/2021 5:51:21 PM
The Small Business Administration (SBA) will be posting important action items in the accounts of certain applicants to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG) program today. Please keep a very close eye on your account today and over the next week to see if action is needed in order for your orchestra ...

Advocacy Update: FREE WEBINAR: U.S. Artist Visas and International Travel in the Age of COVID: Latest Update

Posted By Laurie Baskin 8/24/2021 6:11:54 PM
FREE WEBINAR: U.S. Artist Visas and International Travel in the Age of COVID: Latest Update Thursday, September 9, 3:00pm to 4:15pm Eastern After more than a year of canceled, postponed, or reimagined performances, U.S. arts organizations, presenters, and agents have resumed programming and planning ...

Advocacy Update: News on COVID Policy Issues

Posted By Laurie Baskin 8/24/2021 5:57:46 PM
Next Phase Begins for Shuttered Venue Operators Grants The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that the last day for accepting new Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) applications was Friday, August 20, as the agency turns its focus to processing all initial applications ...

Advocacy Update: SVOG News

Posted By Laurie Baskin 8/10/2021 3:52:40 PM
Important News on Shuttered Venues Grant Opportunities   In a recent stakeholder call with the Small Business Administration (SBA), TCG was informed of the following important news regarding the Shuttered Venue Operator Grants (SVOG) program:   The opportunity to apply for an initial SVOG award ...

Advocacy Update: Treasury, IRS provide gross receipts safe harbor for employers claiming the Employee Retention Credit

Posted By Laurie Baskin 8/10/2021 3:49:14 PM
WASHINGTON – The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today issued a safe harbor allowing employers to exclude certain items from their gross receipts solely for determining eligibility for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). Revenue Procedure 2021-33  provides ...

Advocacy Update: SBA Holds SVOG Office Hours

Posted By Laurie Baskin 7/28/2021 10:48:29 AM
The Small Business Administration has set up Office Hours this week to especially reach those SVOG applicants with active applications that are not yet resolved. Do you have technical corrections messages in your portal and you don't know how to respond? Have you experienced delays or other problems? ...

Posted By Laurie Baskin 7/23/2021 8:30:52 PM
UPDATED FAQS: The SBA has released updated FAQs , providing important revisions and corrections since the last set of FAQs were released in April. We encourage you to review the FAQs in full, and please note a new section describing the processes for Appeals (for denied applications), Reconsideration ...

Important News on Shuttered Venues Grant Opportunities   In a recent stakeholder call with the Small Business Administration (SBA), TCG was informed of the following important news regarding the Shuttered Venue Operator Grants (SVOG) program:   The opportunity to apply for an initial SVOG award ...

Advocacy Update: SVOG Rollout News

Posted By Laurie Baskin 7/16/2021 1:30:46 PM
TCG continues to meet daily with the SBA on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program. We will keep you updated on any news. While nothing is official until the SBA puts it in writing, this is what we have recently learned: AWARD RECONSIDERATIONS and DECLINE APPEALS:   The SBA ...


Advocacy Update: NEA Grant Opportunity, Visa Process and SVOG News and Updates!

By Laurie Baskin posted 06-23-2021
NEA Announces Guidelines for American Rescue Plan Grants The National Endowment for the Arts has announced guidelines for American Rescue Plan Grants , which are intended to help support jobs in the arts sector, keep the doors open to arts organizations, and assist the field in responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Key highlights for the prospective applicants to the Grants to Organizations category   are as follows:  Grants are for specific operating costs only, with no cost share/matching fund requirement. Applicants may request a fixed grant amount for: $50,000, $100,000, or $150,000. The NEA encourages applicants to select a grant ...


Advocacy Update: Shuttered Venues Grant Progress Report

By Laurie Baskin posted 06-04-2021
One week after initiating Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) announcements for the Priority One grant category, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued the first report on awards made to-date . While initial progress on issuing awards has been modest, totaling just 50 grants, the SBA has indicated that grant awards will soon accelerate, with all Priority One applications still expected to be processed before the Priority Two processing period begins on June 10. Most theatre applications will fall within the non-priority processing period, which is scheduled to begin announcing awards on June 25. Over the past week, many SVOG applicants have ...


Advocacy Update: SVOG Timeline News!

By Laurie Baskin posted 05-27-2021
On May 26, 2021, the Small Business Administration (SBA) posted a new set of Frequently Asked Questions for Awardees approved for a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG), as grant notifications for the first award recipients for this critical form of COVID-19 relief are issued this week.  Notification of an SVOG award initiates a series of additional steps required for grantees to receive grant funding. The three-page guide addresses initial questions about fund disbursement, documentation requirements, how to seek technical assistance with the post-award process, and more.  The SBA has confirmed that applicants in the 14-day Priority One grant category ...


Advocacy Update: Latest COVID-19 Relief Updates and Opportunities, International Mobility, and Charitable Giving Bills

By Laurie Baskin posted 05-27-2021
SVOG Updates The Small Business Administration has indicated that it will begin rolling out notifications to Priority 1 applicants of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants program this week. Yesterday, Small Business Administrator Isabel Guzman testified before both the House and Senate Small Business Committees and reported that the SBA "has started awarding funds." Also yesterday, the SBA published an FAQ for Awardees as well as an updated Post-Application FAQ . Just last night, we sent a letter to The White House urging them to assist in delivering the $16.25 billion of urgently needed funding to our field, to improve communications ...


Advocacy Update: Latest SVOG Updates

By Laurie Baskin posted 05-24-2021
TCG participated in an SBA meeting with stakeholders today. Here is what I learned: There appears to sufficient funding to award all grants that have been submitted provided they are eligible. The SBA continues to encourage entities to complete any unfinished applications. Notifications from SBA: A number of applicants that have completely submitted applications have recently received SBA notices erroneously stating that the application has been started but not submitted. Emails also went out asking applicants to confirm their Customer File Number (CFN). Turned out that this information was not available when the email was sent, and it is now. ...


Advocacy Update: Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG) – Latest Updates!

By Laurie Baskin posted 05-12-2021
On May 11, the SBA posted a new Post-Application FAQ for Shuttered Venue Operators Grants . In a week to 10 days, a more substantial FAQ will be released addressing topics related to grant recipients. The SBA expects to issue new, high-level data within the next two days regarding the status of applications received. This data is expected to appear on the Shuttered Venues web page, and will be updated on an ongoing basis. As of today, 11,600 applications have been received. The SBA has specified that funds remain available for new applications. This week and next, applicants may begin receiving notices if action is needed on an application. ...


Advocacy Update: SVOG Portal to Reopen on Monday, April 26, 2021 at 12:00pm Eastern Time

By Laurie Baskin posted 04-23-2021
This news is just in: SBA has just Tweeted that the Portal will reopen on Monday at noon ET. Advocacy works. "We heard you and we are taking action. In response to stakeholder feedback about reopening the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application this weekend, the application portal will now reopen on Monday, April 26 at 12pm ET." Have a good weekend! best, Laurie


Advocacy Update: Shuttered Venue Operator Grants Portal to Reopen on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 12:30pm Eastern Time

By Laurie Baskin posted 04-23-2021
The Small Business Administration issued a Tweet followed by an email announcement the evening of Thursday, April 22, that new guidance would be issued on Friday, April 23, and that the Portal would reopen on Saturday. TCG has learned that the time of reopening will be 12:30pm Eastern Time. A new applicant user guide has been posted New FAQs have also been posted. The FAQ indicates new content. A new application checklist is also available. According to the SBA, the checklist will not add new documentation requirements, but will better explain which documents are required, and which are optional. Saturday, April 24, 12:30pm Eastern time ...


Shuttered Venue Operators Grants – Portal Update

By Laurie Baskin posted 04-16-2021
This afternoon Gene Sperling, a longtime economic adviser under Democratic administrations, tapped by President Biden to oversee implementation of his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, Zach Butterworth, Director of Private Sector Engagement at the White House Office of Public Engagement, and Bharat Ramamurti, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council held an SVOG Stakeholder briefing session. TCG was in attendance along with the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, Broadway League, Coalition of Large Theaters, Dance/USA, League of American Orchestras, National Association of Theatre Owners, National Independent Talent Association, National ...


Advocacy Update: SVOG Portal

By Laurie Baskin posted 04-09-2021
Following yesterday's extreme challenges surrounding the opening of the application portal of the Shuttered Venues Operators Grant program, here is an update on what we know. While we all await imminent and official notification from the SBA, we have been advised that the SVOG application portal will not reopen today, as the SBA is working diligently to fix the issues and to provide more clear guidance. We do not yet have word as to the date/time of reopening. Applicants can continue to register for an account, in advance of the portal reopening. We have asked for updates, corrections and more clarity to the Applicant User Guide, Application ...


New Shuttered Venue Operators Grants Guidance Online as Portal Opens Today!

By Laurie Baskin posted 04-07-2021
New Shuttered Venue Operators Grants Guidance Online as Portal Opens Today! The Small Business Administration (SBA) has released new guidance to inform the application process for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants program, which is set to open at  12:00 Noon Eastern on Thursday, April 8. The SBA and its resource centers are the definitive source of guidance on the application requirements and grant administration details, and all potential applicants are encouraged to carefully review all SBA-issued guidance for the most up-to-date information. Here are some of the newest resources: SBA Portal Homepage   Latest ...


Advocacy Update: Highlights from March 30 Shuttered Venues SBA Webinar

By Laurie Baskin posted 03-31-2021
The Small Business Administration (SBA) presented a webinar on Tuesday, March 30, outlining key eligibility and application requirements for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG) program, which is set to open for applications on Thursday, April 8, 2021. A recording will soon be available. In the meantime, here are some highlights: Prepare to apply as soon as possible – all may apply on the first day of the program. Once the portal opens, applicants can submit an application at any time, regardless whether an organization is within one of the two priority periods. Within priority periods, SBA will process applications in the order received. An ...


Advocacy Update: Paycheck Protection Program Deadline Extended; Latest COVID Relief Updates

By Laurie Baskin posted 03-31-2021
As theatres continue to access new and extended forms of federal COVID-19 relief, TCG is sharing with you these very latest developments from Washington, D.C. Congress Passes PPP Deadline Extension: On Thursday, the U.S. Congress passed a bill extending the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application deadline from March 31 to Monday, May 31, 2021. The most recent PPP data indicate that nearly $200 billion of the $280 billion in available 2021 PPP funding has been accessed. In testimony before the Senate Small Business Committee yesterday, the Small Business Administration (SBA) predicted that, given the pace of applications processed, remaining PPP ...


SVOG for BITOC: Technical Assistance Sessions

By Laurie Baskin posted 03-25-2021
Do you work at a Black Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, or Theatre of Color (BITOC)? If so, TCG wants to make sure that you’re fully supported in receiving equitable access to the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants and all forms of federal relief. On April 8, the application process for SVOG will launch. Please join us at one of the following three technical assistance sessions, where TCG’s Laurie Baskin, Emilya Cachapero, Elena Chang, Sarah Machiko Haber, and Andrea Nellis will support you in preparing for and navigating the application process: REGISTER: SVOG for BITOC Session 1, Monday, March 29, 4:30-6:30pm ET (Cancelled) REGISTER: ...


Advocacy Update: SBA Launches New SVOG Portal and Announces Applications Will Open on April 8, 2021

By Laurie Baskin posted 03-19-2021
SBA has launched a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal  today in anticipation of opening applications for the long-awaited program on Thursday, April 8, 2021.   In advance of the official SVOG application opening, the SBA will host a national informational webinar to highlight the application process on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 from 2:30-4:00pm ET. Please register  here .   The SVOG program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, which appropriated $15 billion for it. The  American Rescue Plan Act , signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, appropriated an additional ...


Advocacy Update: American Rescue Plan Provides New COVID-19 Relief

By Laurie Baskin posted 03-10-2021
Congress has passed the American Rescue Plan , a new $1.9 trillion package of COVID-19 relief. On March 6, the Senate passed the package, which was then passed by the House on Wednesday, March 10 and will soon be signed into law by President Biden. Here is an overview of key elements of the relief package: Shuttered Venue Operators Grants: An additional $1.25 billion in funding will be made available to support the Small Business Administration’s emerging COVID-19 relief program, also known as Save our Stages, bringing total funding for the program to $16.25 billion. A policy change will allow 2021 Paycheck Protection Program recipients to apply for ...


Advocacy Update: Important Federal Relief Update

By Laurie Baskin posted 03-05-2021
The process for accessing the federal COVID-19 relief that was passed into law last December has undergone many changes in the past few weeks and TCG is sharing the following important and time-sensitive updates. In 2021, new opportunities are available to access a 2021 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loan or to seek a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) and, under current rules, applicants may choose to apply for only one of the two programs. These rules may be changing as Congress considers the current relief package in the coming days. Whether your theatre has already applied for a PPP loan or has been awaiting the launch of the Shuttered ...


Action Alert: Urgent COVID Relief Updates

By Laurie Baskin posted 03-02-2021
Speak up: Congress finalizing next relief package Congress is rapidly advancing a new $1.9 trillion package of COVID-19 relief, building on a proposal by the Biden-Harris Administration, and using the budget reconciliation process to speed approval with a simple majority vote in the Senate. The bill is being taken up by the Senate this week, where final changes to the scope of the relief provided will be rapidly considered as Congress aims to send a completed package to the President's desk before a number of provisions expire in mid-March. Nearly every form of federal relief accessed by theatres and their partners in the arts and nonprofit sectors since ...


Shuttered Venue Operator Grants - Update!

By Laurie Baskin posted 02-19-2021
SBA has updated their website regarding the priority periods, and it appears to be good news: (I've added the underline): www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/... First Priority 1st 14 days of grant awards Entities that suffered a 90% or greater earned revenue loss between April 2020 through December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Second Priority Next 14 days of grant awards Entities that suffered a 70% or greater earned revenue loss between April 2020 through December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Third Priority Beginning 28 days after First & Second Priority Awards are made ...

Advocacy Update: Latest COVID Relief Proposals Under Consideration

By Laurie Baskin  posted 02-16-2021
House Leadership is advancing provisions through committee consideration in the coming days before the various elements of relief are combined into a single package for House and Senate consideration in response to the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal by the Biden-Harris Administration. Here is an overview of the current state of key components under discussion, which may change as the measures move through Congress: Shuttered Venue Operators Grants: An additional $1.25 billion in funding would be made available to support the Small Business Administration’s emerging COVID-19 relief program, also known as Save our Stages and currently funded at $15 ...


Action Alert: Speak Up as Congress Designs Next Relief Package!

By Laurie Baskin posted 02-09-2021
Theatres actively advocated to urge support for the creative sector in the multiple 2020 COVID-19 relief packages. Please keep communicating with your elected officials! TCG has an active COVID-19 advocacy campaign that includes background, talking points, and access information for your elected officials as we continue to partner with the broader nonprofit and arts sectors to advance support throughout the duration of the coronavirus crisis. As Congress and the White House begin negotiations this week, we are urging Congress to swiftly enact full coverage of self-insured unemployment liability, expanded pandemic unemployment benefits, enhanced charitable ...


COVID-19 Relief Updates, Engaging New Congress and Administration, and Travel Advisories

By Laurie Baskin posted 02-09-2021
Guidance on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants Emerges as PPP Fully Opens The Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a Shuttered Venue Operators Grants FAQ clarifying that entities that file an application to the PPP program in 2021 will be ineligible to apply to SVOG, unless the PPP application has been rejected. The SBA will post further guidance in the coming days and weeks, and all is subject to change as the agency continues to respond to stakeholder feedback before opening the grant application portal. In the meantime, potential applicants are urged to ensure they are registered for the Grants.gov system , which requires advanced preparation ...


Shuttered Venue Operator Grants (Formerly Save Our Stages) -- SBA Guidance Begins to Emerge

By Laurie Baskin posted 02-02-2021
Timing for opening the application process is uncertain, and SBA is posting preliminary information, subject to change in response to stakeholder feedback, on their Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG) web page. SBA will not write a rulemaking on the program and will instead opt for less formal guidance for applicants. While complete guidance on implementation of the program is not available, SBA will provide further web updates and video guides about the grants, who can apply, how potential organizations can prepare, and additional details regarding eligibility and applications. Important Links:   SBA webpage on Shuttered Venue Operators Grant ...


Webinar: Accessing PPP, Save Our Stages, and More

By Laurie Baskin posted 01-13-2021
Tuesday, January 19 – TCG to Host Webinar for Theatres Tuesday, 1/19/21, 3:00-4:30pm ET With the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issuing new guidance for the “second draw” of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and guidelines for the Save Our Stages (SOS) grant program coming soon, theatres need support in accessing these major relief and recovery funds. On Tuesday, January 19, from 3:00-4:30pm ET , TCG will host a webinar for all theatres with a cross-sector group of arts leaders. Focusing on the current PPP and SOS opportunities, as well as newly expanded Employee Retention Tax Credits (ERTC), we will also look ahead to additional advocacy ...


SBA and Treasury Announce PPP Re-Opening; Issue New Guidance

By Laurie Baskin posted 01-09-2021
This announcement just released today from the SBA : The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the U.S. Department of Treasury, has issued new guidance concerning the start of the Paycheck Protection Program "second draw" loan program ($284.45 billion) on January 11, 2021. The application deadline is March 31, 2021. Along with the announcement of the start of the program are interim final rules, effective immediately and applicable to the "second draw" loans and "first draw" loans not yet forgiven by the SBA. Eligible entities will again work with their participating financial institutions in the program. The SBA also issued guidance ...