(The Center Square) – When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz shuttered much economic activity without offering compensation to businesses for lost revenue. While groceries stores stayed open, venues designed for packing people into proximal spaces like theaters, museums, and zoos shuttered for months.
So the U.S. Small Business Administration administered more than $16 billion of financial relief nationwide through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grantees (SVOG) nationwide. In Minnesota, 250 businesses ranging from museums to art centers to theaters have been promised a total of $229 million in amounts starting at $2,000 up to as much as $10 million.
Eligible applicants qualified for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with a maximum cap single grant award of $10 million.
Companies must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020. Venues that received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount.
Eligible entities included:
- Live venue operators or promoters
- Theatrical producers
- Live performing arts organization operators
- Museum operators
- Motion picture theater operators (including owners)
- Talent representatives
Grant amounts will reflect either of the following instances:
- 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 earned revenue for each full month you were in operation during 2019 multiplied by six or $10 million, whichever is less.
That money must fund payroll costs, rent and utility payments, scheduled mortgage payments, administrative costs, state and local taxes, and more. Some of the companies that received the most money are listed below.
- Armory Hospitality LLC in Minneapolis: $10 million
- Guthrie Theatre Foundation in Minneapolis: $10 million
- Saint Paul Arena Company: $10 million
- Cinema Entertainment in Waite Park: $10 million
- Minnesota Orchestral Association in Minneapolis: $7.4 million
- Chanhassen Theatre: $7.5 million
- Minnesota Zoo: $7.1 million