Performing Arts Alliance Newsletter

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    March 16, 2021
  American Rescue Plan  

Dear Friends and Colleagues: 

As you may know, President Biden recently signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, that will extend many current COVID-19 relief provisions and provide critical new ones. Thank you for your ongoing advocacy as the Performing Arts Alliance and our partners throughout the broader arts and nonprofit sectors continue to seek federal assistance to help you and your community.

Federal agencies will need to rapidly develop new guidance to implement all forms of relief, and the PAA, along with our member organizations, will keep you posted on the details through online resources, learning events, and email communications:

Highlights of the American Rescue Plan include:

Paycheck Protection Program: An additional $7.25 billion will be added to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) resources, and eligibility changes will allow nonprofits with no more than 500 employees at each location to be eligible for forgivable loans. As of March 7, the SBA PPP Data show that $165 billion of the $280 billion of PPP funding made available for 2021 has been distributed to loan applicants. The 2021 PPP program is now open for all eligible applicants for first and second draws and is currently slated to close on March 31, 2021.

New Dual Eligibility for Shuttered Venue Operators Grants and PPP: Rules that had required applicants to choose between seeking a 2021 PPP loan or a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant have changed. 

Under the new terms of the American Rescue Plan, 2021 PPP recipients will be eligible to apply for a Shuttered Venues Operators Grant (SVOG) and deduct the value of their 2021 PPP loan from the applicant's SVOG maximum grant amount (45% of 2019 earned revenue, capped at $10 million). 

While the SVOG program has not yet opened for applications, the Small Business Administration is releasing eligibility guidance on the SVOG website and through continuously updated SVOG Frequently Asked Questions. SBA FAQ's indicate eligibility for the 28-day priority period for receiving Shuttered Venue grants will be determined based on declines in gross revenue (90% for the first fourteen days and 70% for the second fourteen days), from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019. All SVOG applicants must demonstrate a 25% decline in earned revenue, in one calendar quarter of 2020, compared to the same quarter in 2019. 

An additional $1.25 billion in funding will be available to support the SVOG program, bringing total funding to $16.25 billion. 

Employee Retention Tax Credit: The refundable payroll tax credits that are currently available in the first two quarters of 2021 will be extended through the remainder of the calendar year. 

Pension Relief: The Butch-Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021 is included in the American Rescue Plan and will relieve the current strain on both single- and multi-employer plans. This section-by-section summary is just three pages and your quickest route to an overview of the proposed relief. 

National Endowment for the Arts COVID-19 Relief: The National Endowment for the Arts will receive an additional $135 million in dedicated funding, with 40% allocated to state/regional arts agencies and 60% to support direct grants to organizations. The NEA will release further information about the process and timeframe for implementing new grants soon.

Please check with your member organization website for additional information and the PAA website for additional resources.

Thank you. 

The Performing Arts Alliance (PAA) is a 501c4 multi-disciplinary coalition of national service organizations from the professional nonprofit performing arts field. Through legislative and grassroots action, PAA advocates before the U.S. Congress and key policy makers for national policies that enhance and foster the contributions the performing arts make to America.