Advocacy Alert: ERTC, SOS, and SVOG

Camera Crew at APAP|NYC by Adam Kissick/APAP
Unpack the alphabet soup of this week's advocacy actions on the Employee Retention Tax Credit and the Save Our Stages Extension Act. Plus, get the latest update on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. And yes, it deserves a mixed metaphor.

First up, the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). 

With the signing of the Infrastructure bill into law on Monday, November 15, federal agencies are working to implement it. Here is a helpful summary from Independent Sector. With it came the expected repeal of the ERTC. 

The ERTC has helped to do exactly what its name promises: allowing nonprofits and businesses to retain critical employees in the face of the economic challenges caused by the pandemic. Since its creation last year, the ERTC has become a true lifeline for nonprofit economic viability. 

Please continue to contact members of Congress to explain how important the ERTC is for your organization and the workforce it supports. Talking points that can be personalized are available here.

Next, the Save Our Stages (SOS) Extension Act.

Earlier this fall, a bill that would extend the project period for all Shuttered Venue Operator Grantees to use their funds to pay for allowable expenditures incurred between March 1, 2020 through March 11, 2023 was introduced in the Senate by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and in the House by Representative Peter Welch (D-VT).

As this is a noncontroversial, bipartisan bill that does not request additional funds, only additional time to expend already committed funds. This legislation is critical, given the months-long delays in executing the SVOG program. 

Please check these lists of cosponsors in the Senate and in the House. If your Senator or Representative has not yet signed on, please urge them to do so. Americans for the Arts has provided this handy email for you to send.

Lastly, an update from the Small Business Administration on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.

In case you missed it, here was our update email from November 10, 2021. 

Plus, here are the latest updates from the SBA on the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program from our weekly briefing:

  • 340 SUPPLEMENTAL INVITATIONS LEFT TO GO 
    While the Supplemental Awards process continues to roll out, only a few hundred invitations remain, as of November 17, 2021. The SBA encourages applicants who believe they are eligible to wait until the beginning of next week to receive an invitation before sounding the alarm.

  • APPEALS AND RECONSIDERATIONS 1.0 NEARLY DONE.
    See numbers under "Just the Numbers".

  • RECONSIDERATION 2.0
    Recordings of the information sessions that took place will be shared via email by entity type. Action items were reported to start going out on Wednesday, November 17 on a rolling basis. In order to receive an action item, your supplemental will need to be decisioned before you're invited to the Reconsideration 2.0 process. If you receive an invitation and have not yet been invited to the Supplemental Award process, please let the SBA know. The SBA will send an email update on the Reconsiderations 2.0 process on Tuesday, November 22, 2021.

  • THE SBA'S PROGRESS REPORT
    In case you missed it, on Monday, the SBA released its latest program report. While many numbers have since been updated, it does provide more detail that may be of interest. The SBA also released the most recent awardee data.

  • JUST THE NUMBERS
    As of Wednesday, of the total 17,644 applications received, 17,593 decisions have been issued.

    • In total, $13 billion has been awarded, and $12.4 billion has been disbursed. These figures include $2.4 billion awarded and $2.1 billion disbursed in the Supplemental Award phase.

    • 3,142 entities accepted invitations to be part of the Appeals process, and the SBA is nearly done with all appeals.

    • 853 entities accepted invitations to be part of the Reconsideration process, and the SBA is nearly done with the initial round of reconsiderations.  610 were approved, and 225 were declined.

    • There are approximately 40  initial applications remaining that were received after June 26 that are still awaiting a decision.
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