Call to Action: Relief Funding for Live Performing Arts Organizations and Workers
At present, the Small Business Administration is finalizing the language that will exclude a large chunk of the Live Event Industry from the ability to apply for funds under the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant.
Please support the vital need to change the language’s direction today so those in support industries like sound companies, lighting companies, staging companies and more can benefit from this funding opportunity!
Simply copy the following letter and paste it into the email created by our ONE CLICK SETUP to reach NINE key individuals involved in the SVOG. It takes about a minute to reach everyone at once, so please do it today!
The Shuttered Venues Operators Grant Law as written will provide needed relief to live performing arts organizations. Within the law, one of the defined types of organizations that is eligible to receive SVOG funding is “live performing arts organization operators”. As written in the law, the description provides funding for a variety of diverse organizations and people.
Below is the text of the SVOG law:
The term ‘live performing arts organization operator’ means an individual or entity that, as a principal business activity, organizes, promotes, produces, manages, or hosts live concerts, comedy shows, theatrical productions, or other events by performing artists for which a cover charge through ticketing or front door entrance fee is applied; and performers are paid in an amount that is based on a percentage of sales, a guarantee (in writing or standard contract), or another mutually beneficial formal agreement; and for which not less than 70 percent of the earned revenue of the individual or entity is generated through, to the extent related to a live event described in subclause (I), cover charges or ticket sales, production fees or production reimbursements, nonprofit educational initiatives, or the sale of event beverages, food, or merchandise; an individual or entity that, as a principal business activity, makes available for purchase by the public an average of not less than 60 days before the date of the event tickets to events described in clause (i)(I); and for which performers are paid in an amount that is based on a percentage of sales, a guarantee in writing or standard contract, or another mutually beneficial formal agreement; and includes an individual or entity described in subparagraph (A) that operates for profit; is a nonprofit organization; is government-owned; or is a corporation, limited liability company, or partnership or operated as a sole proprietorship.
The language in the law is very specific and does not serve to exclude the diverse types of organizations and people that the SBA is currently seeking to exclude. The SBA FAQs have carved out and excluded several types of organizations and people that clearly meet the definition as written into the law. Many organizations that ‘organize, produce, and manage’ ‘live concerts, comedy shows, theatrical productions, or other events’ have been excluded by the SBA FAQs.
We respectfully ask that all the exclusions created in the SBA FAQs not be reflected in the Treasury Regulations. These proposed exclusions include ‘service and support companies that provide stages, lighting, sound, casts, and other support for live performing arts events or which showcase performers or pre-packaged productions to potential buyers, agricultural fairs or party boats/pleasure cruises that feature concerts, a museum or movie theatre with a multipurpose room with movable seating, a drive-in movie theatre without fixed seating, and a wedding/event venue.’
We respectfully ask that Congress and the SBA do not restrict the diverse group of live performing arts organizations and people from access to the desperately needed SVOG funding. We would ask that, as with PPP, if additional funding is required, Congress appropriate additional funds to assure that all the diverse organizations and people in the industry are equitably served.
ONE-CLICK Email Link (will open your email program): SEND MY EMAIL!
This link will send your email to:
- U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer
- U.S. Senator Brian Schatz
- U.S. Senator Maizie Hirono
- U.S. Representative Ed Case
- U.S. Representative Kai Kahele
- Ms. Isabel Guzman (NEW Administrator for SBA)
- The National Ombudsman at SBA
- Ms. Tami Perriello (Chief Financial Officer) at SBA
- Ms. Barbara Carson (Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Disaster Assistance) at SBA
Previous Calls to Action…
Capitol Hill is poised to vote very shortly on the passage of the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant, or SVOG. In its present form, it may not include your particular sector of Live Events: you could be left out of the funding this Grant can provide.
It’s vital that all of us affected by the shutdown of the Live Events industry in Hawaiʻi let our Senators and Representatives know you’re paying attention and you’ve got something to say. Get your family, your friends – everyone you know, anywhere in the U.S., to help you reach them about the SVOG. Don’t delay, you need to be heard today!
The following is text you can copy & paste into email forms on our Congressional members’ websites to request their support in updating the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant to include all members of the event industry. Please be sure to change the salutation to the appropriate legislator – we’re providing clickable links directly to their email forms at the bottom of the page.
Each email form takes about two minutes – your kokua in sending these is an important step toward our collective recovery!
|Dear Senator (name) or Dear Representative (name):|
On my own behalf and as a member of the Hawaiʻi Events Coalition, I am pleading with you to please support amending the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant to include supporting all the businesses in the Event Industry. Stages and venues cannot operate without lighting companies, sound companies, costume shops, musicians, scenic and prop shops, tenting companies, caterers and a myriad other businesses that make entertainment venues account for only 8% of our entire business. We, the other 92%, were the first to be put out of work by the pandemic and will inevitably be the last to be able to return to work. In the interim we have all suffered monumental losses; many businesses in our industry are on the verge of closing for good, if they haven’t already closed.
Please vote to rework the SVOG to become the Shuttered Event Industry Grant. We desperately need your help.
Read more about the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant here.