Congress recently passed a deal for a $900 billion COVID relief package which includes $284 billion for forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $15 billion for live venues and cultural institutions via the Save our Stages (SOS) act, and $20 billion in targeted EIDL grants for small businesses. This legislation was signed by the President on 12/27/2020.
Under the SOS program eligible entities such as museums, zoos, and aquariums may apply for Small Business Association grants of up to $10 million based on lost gross earned revenues. In the first 14 days of implementation grants will be open to entities showing a 90% or greater loss in revenue, followed by eligible entities with a 70% or greater loss in the next 14 days, then to all other eligible entities. In order to apply “museum operators” must be a public or private non-profit and:
- Demonstrate a 25% reduction in earned revenue across corresponding quarters in 2019 and 2020.
- Have indoor exhibition spaces that have been subject to pandemic-related occupancy restrictions; and
- Have at least one theater, auditorium, or performance or lecture hall with fixed audience seating and regular programming.
A broad coalition including the Association of Zoos and Aquariums worked to get cultural institutions included as eligible entities for the SOS program.
A summary of the COVID relief provisions is available here.