New Stimulus Package – What Nightlife Businesses Need to Know

Save Our Stages and Paycheck Protection Program Updates

Last night, Congress passed a $900 billion Covid-19 relief package. While this relief bill falls short in many ways, we’re thrilled that it includes something we’ve been fighting for, $15 billion for “Save Our Stages.” This will provide grants of up to $10 million to for-profit or non-profit performance venues, promoters, talent representatives, movie theaters, museums, and other cultural institutions. It also includes a new round of Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans.

While the date you can apply for funding has not been set yet, it is expected to be very soon. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the requirements summarized below so that you can be ready immediately once applications become available.

Save Our Stages: Grants for venues

If you operate a live music, theater, DJ/dance club, comedy club, or other performance venue, or a small business that primarily works with these venues (e.g. a promoter or a talent agent), here’s what you need to know:

Grants

  • Will be administered by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) 
  • Can be used for rent, utility, mortgages, debt, payroll, independent contractors (e.g., performers), other business expenses  
  • Award calculated as 45% of 2019 revenue, capped at $10 million  
  • Loans or grants from the CARES Act (e.g., PPP) will not count toward your total revenue

Eligibility

  • Must have at least 25% revenue loss in 2020 
  • Must have been open on or before February 29, 2020 
  • Must have a defined performance and audience space, mixing equipment, PA system, and lighting rig 
  • Must have ticketed events and performances that are marketed (e.g. print, websites, email, social media) 
  • Must incorporate at least 2 of the following roles: sound engineer, booker, promoter, stage manager, security personnel, box office manager.  

(Note: If you are a promoter or talent agent, your artists and events must operate in venues that fit these criteria.)  
Timing

  • The start date for applications is still TBD  
  • The first two-week period will be open to those who have lost over 90% of their revenue from April to December 2020 (relative to the same period in 2019) 
  • The second two-week period will be open to those who have lost over 70% of their revenue from April to December 2020 (relative to the same period in 2019) 
  • After that, other eligible businesses may apply ($3 billion total will be set aside for this group) 

For more details about the program, please see section 324 “Grants for Shuttered Venue Operators” of the stimulus act

The phrase Hashtag "SaveOurStages" over a concert crowd and hands in the shape of a heart

Paycheck Protection Program logo of a stack of money in a shield shape

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): New round of forgivable loans

The relief bill also authorizes an additional $284 billion of a second round of PPP for small businesses and non-profits, which includes bars and restaurants that may not be eligible for Save Our Stages grants. We encourage you to be prepared: the legislation requires the SBA to establish this
second round of the program within the next 10 days. Eligibility Small businesses may qualify for a “second draw” of PPP if: 

  • You can show 25% revenue loss in Q1, Q2, Q3 of 2020 relative to the same quarter in 2019 (this includes revenues from normal operations; PPP or other loans do not count against these totals) 
  • Your business has fewer than 300 employees per location and you used or will use the full amount of your first PPP  
  • You are not receiving a “Save Our Stages” grant 

New terms While many provisions are similar to the first round of PPP, there are some new terms included in this second round:  

  • Maximum loan amount is now $2 million 
  • The loan amount for “Accommodation and Food Services sector” will be calculated at 3.5x annual payroll (other industries eligible at 2.5x)
  • Additional expense types may now be eligible for loan forgiveness
  • Includes payments to suppliers and vendors, PPE and other costs related to adapting to Covid-19, software, and property damages
  • Businesses that received PPP may take tax deductions for the expenses covered by forgiven loans
  • There is now a simplified forgiveness process for PPP loans under $150,000, consisting of a one-page attestation that a business complied with program requirements  

For more details about the program, please see Title III “Continuing the Paycheck Protection Program and other Small Business Support” of the stimulus act.