The Chamber supports funding for the Arts, Culture and Tourism industries. These businesses are extremely important not only to our quality of life but also to our community economic sustainability and vitality, and they have taken the hardest hit during the pandemic. House Bill 6119, “An Act Concerning Arts, Culture, and Tourism Funding” is proposed to….
H.B. 6119 Talking Points
Increasing the percentage of the hotel and lodging tax that supports the Tourism Fund from 10 to 25%: • Will help prevent further economic injury, address the impact of the shutdown, and accelerate recovery of not only the Arts sector, but all of Connecticut. The arts and culture sector is an economic driver for Connecticut and has been hit hard by the pandemic.
• Does not take funding away from another legislative priority because hotel and lodging tax revenue not currently allocated to the tourism fund goes to Connecticut’s general fund.
• Does not raise the hotel and lodging tax. It simply allocates a larger percentage of that tax revenue to the Tourism Fund.
Fixing the percentage of the Tourism Fund that is allocated to Tourism at 60% and Arts and Culture at 40% reflects how the fund is allocated now. It does not change how much funding is allocated to each.
Renaming the Tourism Fund to the Arts, Culture and Tourism fund more accurately describes its role in providing state funding to all three of these sectors.
The Commerce Committee will have a hearing on Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 10:00 A.M. via Zoom. All testimony is due on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 by 3:00 P.M. You can submit testimony via zoom at the hearing. To testify in person first register HERE. Registration will close Wed Feb 10 at 3:00 PM. You can also testify by phone at 860-240-0380 or email written testimony in word or pdf format to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This grant will be made available thru the COVID Relief Grant approved in December. The application and money will be administered by the SBA, Small Business Administration. It is financial relief for Arts venues that have been shuttered due to COVID. The program has not been worked out as of yet and will be open for application in the near future. We will keep you posted. Here is some information.
The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.
For additional details, see our Shuttered Venue Operators Grants Frequently Asked Questions.
Who can apply
Eligible entities include:
- Live venue operators or promoters
- Theatrical producers
- Live performing arts organization operators
- Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
- Motion picture theater operators
- Talent representatives, and
- Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements
Other requirements of note:
- Must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020
- Venue or promoter must not have received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020
Detailed information on eligibility requirements coming soon.
Amount of SVO Grant
Grant amount will be either:
- For an eligible entity in operation on January 1, 2019, grants will be for an amount equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue OR $10 million, whichever is less.
- For an eligible entity that began operation after January 1, 2019, grants will be for the average monthly gross revenue for each full month you were in operation during 2019 multiplied by six (6) OR $10 million, whichever is less.
How to apply
SBA is in the process of setting up the grant program and is not yet accepting applications. Those who have suffered the greatest economic loss will be the first applications processed under the following schedule:
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.
1st 14 days of grant awards
Entities that suffered a 90% or greater revenue loss between April 2020 through December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Next 14 days of grant awards
Entities that suffered a 70% or greater revenue loss between April 2020 through December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beginning 28 days after First & Second Priority Awards are made
Entities that suffered a 25% or greater revenue loss between one quarter of 2019 and the corresponding quarter of 2020.
Available after First & Second Priority
Recipients of First and Second Priority round who suffered a 70% or greater revenue loss for the most recent calendar quarter (as of 04-01-21 or later)
Allowable use of funds
Funds may be used for specific expenses, which include:
- Payroll costs
- Rent payments
- Utility payments
- Scheduled mortgage payments (not including prepayment of principal)
- Scheduled debt payments (not including prepayment of principal) on any indebtedness incurred in the ordinary course of business prior to 02-15-20)
- Worker protection expenditures
- Payments to independent contractors (not to exceed $100K in annual compensation per contractor)
- Other ordinary and necessary business expenses, including maintenance costs
- Administrative costs (incl. fees and licensing)
- State and local taxes and fees
- Operating leases in effect as of 02-15-20
- Insurance payments
- Advertising, production transportation, and capital expenditures related to producing a theatrical or live performing arts production. (May not be primary use of funds.)
Grantees may not use award funds to:
- Buy real estate
- Make payments on loans originated after 02-15-20
- Make investments or loans
- Make contributions or other payments to, or on behalf of, political parties, political committees, or candidates for election
- Any other use prohibited by the Administrator
Grantees will be required to maintain documentation demonstrating their compliance with the eligibility and other requirements of the SVO Grant program. They must retain employment records for four years following their receipt of a grant and retain all other records for three years.
Application and additional guidelines will be posted when available.