Federal, state, and local COVID-19 funding updates
The OCAC will try our best to send regular updates as funding news becomes available. For additional information, be sure to follow Arts NC for state funding updates and Americans for the Arts for national updates.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Forgivable Loans
If you’re still considering applying for either a First or Second Draw Paycheck Protection Program Loan, there are still funds available, but it’s going quickly. SBA reports that more than 1.29 million loans have already been approved, totaling $100.9 billion. Please remember that you do NOT need to submit your Forgiveness Application for last year’s PPP before you apply for a Second Draw this year. However, you do need to certify that you used the funds properly and that you incurred a reduction in gross receipts of at least 25% in any one quarter’s comparison between 2019 and 2020. Do not apply for a PPP if you plan to apply for a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.
Future Legislation: Congress recommends appropriating an additional $7.25 billion in PPP funding in current legislation.
Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grants
SBA has still not opened up the new SVO grants portal, but as I look into my crystal ball, I think it will go live within the next two weeks. As you know by now, demand is very high for this program with only $15 billion available. Here are some things you can do to get ready to apply as soon as possible, regardless of which Priority Category that you may fit into:
- If you or your organization does not already have a Dunn and Bradstreet DUNS Number, get one.
- Use your DUNS number to register in the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM). You can’t simply use a Taxpayer or Employer ID Number to apply for an SVO grant. (Note: It could take up to two weeks to finalize a SAM registration.)
- Gather documents that demonstrate your number of employees and monthly revenues so you can calculate the average number of qualifying employees you had over the prior 12 months.
- Determine your gross earned revenue losses. It looks like SBA is going to use the Gross Earned Revenue definition to determine Priority Eligibility, but it’s not confirmed yet.
- Determine the extent of gross earned revenue loss you experienced between 2019 and 2020 on a quarterly basis.
- Make PDFs of additional information such as floor plans, contract copies and other evidence that will be needed to apply for an SVO grant.
- Sign up for a regional mailing list and webinar in your area and develop a direct relationship.
- Ask the SBA specific questions about SVO eligibility by e-mailing SVOGrant@sba.gov.
SVO Resources to Review:
- SBA’s Frequently Asked Questions on SVO Grants updated 2-5-21
- Proskauer law firm’s excellent analysis of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants
Future Legislation: Congress recommends appropriating an additional $1.25 billion in SVO funding in current legislation.
Targeted EIDL Advances
Advance funds of up to $10,000 will be available to only applicants located in low-income communities who previously received an EIDL Advance for less than $10,000, or those who applied but received no funds due to lack of available program funding. Eligible applicants do not need to take any action at this time. Applicants will be contacted directly by SBA via email and they will first reach out to EIDL applications that already received a partial EIDL Advance (between $1,000 – $9,000). Applicants will need to prove at least a 30% loss in gross receipts during any 8-week period comparing 2019 and 2020.
Future Legislation: Congress recommends appropriating an additional $15 billion in Targeted EIDL Advance funding in current legislation.
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) COVID Relief
Future Legislation: Congress recommends appropriating an additional $135 million each to the NEA and NEH in supplemental COVID-19 economic relief grants in current 2021 legislation.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Future Legislation: Congress recommends extending temporary federal unemployment benefits from March 15, 2021 to August 29, 2021. The current legislation would also increase the weekly federal supplemental benefit from $300 to $400.
Direct Economic Stimulus Checks
Future Legislation: Congress recommends providing an additional $1,400 per taxpayer, phasing out at a 2019 Adjusted Gross Income of $75,000. Current legislation also recommends significantly expanding the Child Tax Credit to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for children under 6), which can be fully refundable and advanceable.
Health Insurance Assistance
Future Legislation: Congress recommends in current legislation:
- Reducing health care premiums for low- and middle-income families by increasing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) premium tax credits for 2021 and 2022.
- Supporting the continuation of employer-based health coverage by subsidizing COBRA coverage through September 30, 2021.
- Creating health care subsidies for unemployed workers who are ineligible for COBRA.
Federal Tax Income Questions & Answers
- PPP funds should NOT be included in your taxable income.
- PPP covered expenses CAN still be deducted on your tax return.
- IRS direct stimulus checks should NOT be included in your taxable income.
- EIDL Advances should NOT be included in your taxable income.
- EIDL Loans are debt that must be repaid. They should NOT be included in your taxable income.
- CARES Economic Relief Funds that State and Local Governments re-granted to individuals and businesses SHOULD be included in your taxable income according to the IRS.
- State and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance SHOULD be included in your taxable income.
- Employee Retention Credits CANNOT be taken on that portion of employee wages that were covered with a PPP forgivable loan.
- It’s not confirmed yet, but similar to PPP, it appears SVO grants will NOT be included in your taxable income, but your covered expenses CAN still be deducted.
The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has received clarification from a Small Business Administration Regional Office that applicants may NOT apply for both a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of any kind and a Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant. Previously, the rule only stated that you could not RECEIVE both. Now according to this SBA regional office, if an entity submits an application for a PPP loan (First Draw or Second Draw) on or after December 27, 2020, they are no longer eligible for an SVO Grant.
Also, almost one week after the Small Business Administration (SBA) posted its initial guidance about the priority of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG), they issued the following correction on their website:
Note: On January 20, 2021, SBA updated the proposed plan for issuing Shuttered Venue Operators Grants during the first and second priority periods. To clarify, priority awardees will not need to satisfy the small employer set-aside. During the first 59 days of opening the SVO Grants, SBA will reserve no less than $2 billion of program funding for grants to entities that have no more than 50 employees
So NOW (once again) the priority to receive a Shuttered Venue Operators grant does NOT include having 50 or fewer employees.
- Day 1-14: Awards only for applicants with 90% loss of gross revenue April 1st through December 31st 2020 as compared to same period in 2019 as a result of the pandemic.
- Day 15-28: Awards only for applicants with 70% loss of gross revenue April 1st through December 31st 2020 as compared to same period in 2019 as a result of the pandemic.
- After 28 Days: Awards for applicants with 25% loss of earned revenue for a single calendar quarter of 2020 as compared to same period in 2019 as a result of the pandemic.
Also, we have received clarification about Paycheck Protection Program Loans that a “lender must disburse the loan no later than 10 calendar days from the date of loan approval.” (SBA PPP FAQ #20)
Choosing between a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) or a Second Draw Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan is a difficult decision for many organizations right now. Arts NC will provide you the best information we can, as soon as we can, so that you can make an informed decision, based on the circumstances of each organization.
We do not know if Congress will replenish funding for SVO Grants when it runs out. But we do know they have replenished the PPP funding twice since it was created.
We do not know when the SBA will open applications for SVO Grants. But it might not be until early February.
We do not yet know exactly how SBA will determine eligibility for SVO Grants. But an organization can choose to apply and allow SBA to make that determination.
Arts NC will continue to send out information as it becomes available and will continue to update our blog post about all arts relief in the most recent federal legislation.
- SBA Information on Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant Program
- Regularly Updated Arts NC Information on Recent Federal Arts Relief
- SBA Information on Paycheck Protection Porgram (PPP) Loans
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Prep Eligible Venues: Join NIVA for FREE
It is possible that a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number or a System for Award Management (SAM) account may be needed or useful in the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application process, but that has still not yet been announced by the SBA. Those considering applications may want to obtain both as well as preparing financial records. Expedited DUNS processing is available for a fee.
The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) was the creator of the #SaveOurStages campaign and the leading advocacy organization for the Save Our Stages Act (now the SVO Grant). We encourage eligible independent venue operators to become NIVA members for free or update existing membership. In addition to the information and resources from Arts NC, NIVA will be providing resources and assistance to its members applying for Shuttered Venue Operator Grants. Arts NC will continue to partner with national advocacy organizations such as NIVA and Americans for the Arts to promote public funding and policy for the entire creative sector.
NOTE: Arts Action Fund and Americans for the Arts will be conducting webinars on new COVID-19 Economic Relief Opportunities on Friday at 2:00pm ET on January 15, 2021 and January 22, 2021. Register for FREE at ArtsU or watch live at www.Facebook.com/ArtsActionFund.
- H.R. 133 – the $2.3 trillion spending bill that was signed into law on 12-27-20, included the single largest amount of funding for the arts ever passed by Congress. It includes:
- $15 billion for entities and individuals operating live performance venues, performing arts organizations, museums, independent movie theaters, and talent agencies based on the Save Our Stage Act.
- $284 billion for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans, allowing businesses to apply for a second loan if they have one calendar quarter in 2020 with 30% less gross revenue than the same quarter in 2019.
- Extension of expiring federal unemployment programs by 11 weeks, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) which provided benefits to the self-employed and independent contractors and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) which provides additional weeks of benefits.
- $300 per week for 11 weeks added to all unemployment benefits resulting from the pandemic, half of the $600 per week form Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation that ended on July 31, 2020.
- $20 billion for Emergency Impact Disaster Loans through the Small Business Administration.
- Increase of $5.2 million each in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities for a FY2021 budget of $167.5 million each.
- PPP: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13. The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility was released on January 6 in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act. Application deadline is March 31, 2021. For more information visit SBA.gov/ppp or Treasury.gov/cares.
- Save Our Stages Act: Arts North Carolina expects that the US Small Business Administration (SBA) will release guidance for the “Grants for Shuttered Venues” program (a.k.a. Save Our Stages) in the next two weeks. There is no further information at this time and we do not know when applications will open. We encourage all arts organizations to review the SBA guidelines for Save Our Stages (SOS) to see if you qualify BEFORE applying for a PPP loan, as receipt of a PPP loan may disqualify you from receiving a larger SOS grant.
- Nonprofit Paid Leave to Workers Out Due to COVID-19: The new COVID-19 legislation allows nonprofits and other employers that had been covered by the FFCRA paid leave mandates to continue to receive refundable payroll tax credits if they provide paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave in a manner consistent with FFCRA mandates (if they were still in effect) between January 1, 2021 and March 31, 2021. The UNC School of Government has provided a helpful analysis of considerations for local government employers in deciding whether to continue to offer paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave during the first quarter of 2021. This analysis is also useful for nonprofit employers. The U.S. Department of Labor has also updated its FAQs on FFCRA paid leave to address the expiration of the FFCRA paid leave mandates.
- Small Business Grants: Orange County Office of Economic Development is providing up to $250,000 in funding to support individual grants of approximately $3,000 per applicant for all finalist applicants to Round #3 of the Emergency Small Business Funding Program-COVID-19. Only for-profit businesses are eligible to apply. Deadline to apply is 5pm on January 20, 2021.
- Arts Relief Grants: The Orange County Arts Support Fund has raised almost $100k to date, and will continue to accept donations and provide grants until there is no longer a need. The next round of funding will most likely be late winter/early spring.