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The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is disrupting the live event industry world wide. And until live experiences are back on track, economic assistance could help ensure our industry remains strong.


It’s because of this we want event producers, promoters and venue owners to know about the options available to assist you during this time of crisis.


On March 27, 2020, Congress passed and the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act -- a landmark $2 trillion stimulus package addressing the impact of COVID-19. The package includes substantial relief for small business, including:

  • Paycheck Protection Program: A $350 billion loan program for small businesses and nonprofits to maintain existing workforce and help pay for other expenses like rent, mortgage, and utilities.

  • Funding for Disaster Loans and Grants: An additional $10 billion in funding for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), with emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs.

  • Debt Relief for existing SBA loans: $17 billion for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to cover 6 months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans, including 7(a), Community Advantage, 504, and Microloan programs.

The CARES Act  requires that SBA enact these programs with regulations within 15 days. See below for more details on the CARES Act, and check back for updates on how to take advantage of these programs. Learn more  about SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans -- and click here  to apply.

Financial relief options include:


Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

CARES Act Quick Summary

  1. The bill contains more than $2 trillion in funds in total for businesses, corporations, and individuals.

  2. $370 billion is earmarked for SMBs through the Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act provision. Loans will max out at the lesser of $10 million or 250% of the average total monthly payroll for the last year. Loans will be forgiven for businesses that use the money to keep workers on the payroll.

  3. To qualify for these loans, businesses must have fewer than 500 employees. Portions of loans used to pay employees, rent, mortgage payments and utilities over an eight-week period, starting from the date the loan is paid, will be forgiven.

  4. Businesses need to have been operating as of Feb 15, 2020.

  5. Businesses can also defer payroll taxes for 2020, instead paying 50% in 2021 and 50% in 2022.

  6. Loans will be paid out by private lenders (e.g. banks, credit unions) and guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.


Eligibility Checklist

In order to be eligible for the CARES Act stimulus loans, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a company with less than 500 employees

  • Be in business as of Feb 15, 2020

  • Pay employee salaries

  • Pay payroll tax and/or independent contractors (e.g., freelancers are not included)


If your answer is yes to these four questions, keep on reading.


How to Apply

  • The bill passed the house on Friday, March 27. It could take at least two weeks for funds to start being paid out to businesses, although the goal is to issue same-day payments once the system is up and running. In the meantime, regulators are encouraging banks and credit unions to start issuing small stop-gap loans to businesses that require immediate support.

  • Funds from the package will be issued as SBA-guaranteed loans via private lenders  (e.g. your existing bank), using their own paperwork. Banks will then be reimbursed by the Treasury.

  • Money used to cover salaries, mortgages, rent and utilities will not have to be repaid.


Paycheck Protection Program: Small Business Loans

  • The Paycheck Protection Program is a $350 billion loan program that applies to:

    • Small employers with 500 employees or fewer, as well as those that meet the current Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards

    • Self-employed individuals and “gig economy” individuals; and

    • Certain nonprofits, including 501(c)(3) organizations and 501(c)(19) veteran organizations, and tribal business concerns with under 500 employees.

  • Loan amount: The size of the loans equal 250% of an employer’s average monthly payroll, up to a maximum loan amount of $10 million.

  • Use of funds:

    • Covered payroll costs include salary, wages, and payment of cash tips (up to an annual rate of pay of $100,000); employee group health care benefits, including insurance premiums; retirement contributions; and covered leave.

    • Loans can also be used to pay interest payments on mortgage obligations, rent, utilities, and interest on other debt obligations previously incurred.

  • Reduced costs: The cost of participation in the program is reduced for both borrowers and lenders by providing fee waivers, an automatic deferment of payments for one year, and no prepayment penalties.

  • Availability: Loans are to be made available immediately through more than 800 existing SBA-certified lenders, including banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions, and SBA would be required to streamline the process to bring additional lenders into the program.

  • SBA Express Loans: The maximum loan amount for SBA Express loans has been increased from $350,000 to $1 million. Express loans provide borrowers with revolving lines of credit for working capital purposes.


Tax Provisions for Small Businesses

  • Employee Retention Tax Credit: This provision provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid by employers to employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The credit is available to employers whose (1) operations were fully or partially suspended, due to a COVID-19-related shut-down order, or (2) gross receipts declined by more than 50 percent when compared to the same quarter in the prior year.

  • Employer Payroll Tax Delay: This provision allows employers and self-employed individuals to defer payment of the employer share of the Social Security tax they otherwise are responsible for paying to the federal government with respect to their employees.

  • Modification For Net Operating Losses: This provision relaxes the limitations on a company’s use of losses. Net Operating Losses (NOL) are currently subject to a taxable-income limitation, and they cannot be carried back to reduce income in a prior tax year. The provision provides that an NOL arising in a tax year beginning in 2018, 2019, or 2020 can be carried back five years.

  • Modification of Limitation On Business Interest:  The provision temporarily increases the amount of interest expense businesses are allowed to deduct on their tax returns, by increasing the 30-percent limitation to 50 percent of taxable income (with adjustments) for 2019 and 2020.


Individual Taxpayer and Unemployment Relief

  • Recovery Rebates: One-time checks of $1,200 to Americans with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married couples. Individuals and couples are eligible for an additional $500 per child.

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: Temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program through December 31, 2020 to provide payment to those not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, those with limited work history, and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.

  • Increased Unemployment Benefits: Additional $600 per week payment to each recipient of unemployment insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for up to four months.

  • Paid Leave Provisions: Limits employer paid leave obligations to no more than $200 per day and $10,000 in aggregate for each employee covered. Caps for emergency paid sick leave are $511 per day and $5,110 in aggregate per employee. Employees laid off after March 1, 2020 are required to have access to paid family and medical leave if they are rehired by the employer. The bill allows employers to receive an advance payroll tax credit for required paid sick leave.



SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) & Loan Advance for COVID-19


On March 6, the U.S. Congress passed a COVID-19 preparedness and response supplemental funding bill that designated COVID-19 as a disaster under the Small Business Administration (SBA) and provided $20 million to support the SBA’s administration of loan subsidies to small businesses of up to $2 million per loan.

On March 27, Congress passed the CARES Act, adding $10 billion to the loan program and waiving or relaxing several loan eligibility requirements.


SBA Loans Quick Summary

  1. Small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible.

  2. Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance.

  3. The SBA will make $10,000 advances to applicants within 3 days of applying to support payroll, sick leave, and other debt obligations; these amounts are not subject to repayment obligations.

  4. Loans for businesses will have an interest rate of 3.75%, and for nonprofits a rate of 2.75%.

  5. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

  6. Loans can be approved on the basis of a credit score; tax returns are no longer required.

  7. For loans under $200,000, the requirement for personal collateral is waived.

  8. For existing SBA loans, the government is providing $17 billion to pay all principal, interest, and fees, for six months, to small businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19.

  9. SBA loans may be subject to other rules; check the SBA website  for the most current program information.


Qualifying for an EIDL loan

Be sure to consult the EIDL loan application forms for specific requirements, but in general, you must:

  • be a registered for-profit business

  • be physically located and operates in the U.S. or its territories

  • have invested your own time or money into the business


Applying for an EIDL loan

You can apply online on the SBA Disaster website. You’ll need the following:

  • Business plan

  • Amount and proposed use of funds

  • Credit history

  • Financial projections, and how you will pay back the loan

  • Collateral, such as a home, car, inventory, or other property you own, for loans over $200,000

  • Industry experience, while not required, can drive lender confidenc



Additional Resources

Disaster Assistance Application
SBA Disaster Playbook

Points of Contact

For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center:
Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339)


Private Company Programs

Bacardi #RaiseYourSpirits Campaign

$3 million in relief to bars and restaurants affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns.

More info

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries.

More info

GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund

The Small Business Relief Fund will provide micro-grants to qualifying small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Small Business Relief Fund is part of the Small Business Relief Initiative : a program supported by GoFundMe, Yelp, and Intuit QuickBooks. The Small Business Relief Initiative will supply financial assistance and support to businesses across the country by providing grants, tools, and resources to help during the crisis.

More info

Kiva Lending

U.S. applicants for a Kiva loan have access to expanded eligibility for a Kiva loan, loans up to $15,000 at 0% interest, and a grace period for new borrowers of up to 6 months.

Once you complete the application, a member of the Kiva U.S. team will reach out to you to better understand your business and ask any follow up questions within 10 - 15 business days. Submitting a great photo and business story will help your application make it through the review process more quickly.


  • You and your business must be based in the United States.

  • You must be over 18 years old.

  • You must be using the loan for business purposes.

  • Your business must not be engaged in any of the following activities: multi-level marketing / direct sales; illegal activities (e.g. gambling, scams); or pure financial investing (e.g. stocks)

  • You cannot currently be in foreclosure, bankruptcy, or under any liens.

  • You must be willing to demonstrate your social capital by having a small number of your friends and family make a loan to you.


How quickly can I get funded?

Once your loan is approved for fundraising, you will have 15 days to raise support from your own network during the Private Fundraising Period, and then 30 days to publicly fundraise with Kiva’s wider network of lenders.


More info

Shopify Small Business Financing

$200 million in small business funding via Shopify Capital.

More info

Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund

Thanks to a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available.