COVID-19: Resources for Organizations
General Resources | Children, Schools, and Child Care Programs Guidance | Webinars and Video Resources | Impact Surveys
For current information on the Vermont Arts Council's grantmaking during the COVID-19 pandemic, including changes and additions to current grant programs, please visit our "COVID-19 and Vermont Arts Council Grantmaking" page.
Shuttered Venue Operators Grants
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “CAA”), signed into US law on Dec. 27, 2020, provides $900 billion in new COVID-19 relief funding. It includes several provisions related to individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations in Vermont’s creative sector. The CAA includes a new $15 billion grant program called Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG)—also known as “Save Our Stages"—through which the U.S. Small Business Administration will provide aid to struggling live venue operators and related businesses. The grants will offer a critical lifeline for the nation’s performing arts venues, movie theatres and museums. Read more about the program and eligibility.
The SVOG online portal has launched, and aplications will be accepted starting April 8. Visit the SVOG portal.
The Small Business Administration released a FAQ document on Jan. 28, 2021 that provides additional information about the SVOG program to help venue operators prepare to apply. Applicants will need a DUNS number and must register on sam.gov. This registration process can take some time, so potential applicants should start the process now.
SBA Extends Deferment Period for EIDL and Other Disaster Loans until 2022
Small businesses that received a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) won’t have to start making payments on the loan until 2022, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) said in a news release issued Friday, March 12, 2021. The SBA announced extended deferment periods for all of its disaster loans, including the COVID-19 EIDL loans. The deferral details differ depending on the calendar year the disaster loan was made. For all SBA disaster loans made in 2020, the first payment due date is 24 months, extended from 12 months, from the date of the note.
Safe Outdoor Venues
"Planning events & connecting communities & artists during the pandemic" was the topic of the Vermont Recreation & Park Association’s quarterly meeting at on March 10 via Zoom. The session featured panelists from Vermont's Dept. of Health; Agency of Commerce & Community Development (ACCD); Forests, Parks, & Recreation; the Vermont Arts Council, as well as Jody Fried from Catamount Arts and Sherri Birkheimer Rooker from the Chaffee Art Center.
Panelists discussed managing outdoor events during the pandemic. They shared examples that worked in 2020, shared plans and possible venues for 2021, discussed public health updates and recommendations, and heard from ACCD on guidance updates for the upcoming summer.
Paycheck Protection Program
The CAA bill authorized new rounds and additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is open for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. Loans under $150,000 will be forgiven via a simple one-page form. Key PPP updates include:
- PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
- PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;
- The Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
- The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
- Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
- Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.
A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:
- Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
- Has no more than 300 employees; and
- Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development hosted a webinar for Vermont’s businesses on Jan. 6 about the updates to PPP and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The Agency’s leadership team was joined by the Vermont Department of Labor, the Vermont Bankers Association, the Small Business Administration's Vermont District Office and Thomas Lauzon, C.P.A., to help businesses navigate and understand the updates to these programs. Read more information including a link to the archived webinar recording.
Pandemic Unemployment Benefits
The CAA also extended many of the unemployment programs first authorized through the CARES Act in March of 2020, including relief for self-employed, freelancers or independent contractors. Read a summary of the changes from the Vermont Department of Labor and a helpful explanation about the current benefits in Vermont from Vermont Legal Aid.
All event venues, arts, culture, and entertainment venues, and restaurants serving the public shall suspend public or private social, recreational and entertainment gatherings, indoor and outdoor, including large social gatherings incidental to ceremonies, holiday gatherings, parties and celebrations, unless all participants are from the same household.
Safe Outdoor Venues: The Vermont Recreation & Parks Association and the Vermont Arts Council hosted an online discussion on Jan. 21, 2021, with artists and performers about the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and safe outdoor venues for the summer 2021 season. View the recording.
Know Your Bone: Data-Informed Resource for Cultural Organizations. This site tracks how the pandemic is influencing perceptions and intentions to visit cultural entities.
The Vermont Small Business Development Center's low-interest loans are also available to private nonprofits. The point of contact for arts organizations experiencing financial distress is the VTSBDC state director, Linda Rossi
This Americans for the Arts blog post, "Community Engagement in the Time of COVID-19," provides insight, resources, and recommendations for maintaining community engagement with public art projects and programs while preserving public health and safety
The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development offers COVID-19 resources for businesses on their website
Americans for the Arts has developed an on-demand video series, "COVID-19 Federal Relief Funds for the Arts 101"
"Resources to Help Ensure Accessibility of Your Virtual Events for People with Disabilities" from the National Endowment for the Humanities
The Vermont Arts & Culture Disaster and Resilience Network (VACDaRN) has recently launched its website
The American Repertory Theater has released this "Roadmap for Recovery and Resilience for Theater"
The National Endowment for the Arts' "The Road Forward: Best Practices Tip Sheet for Arts Organizations Re-engaging with Audiences or Visitors (June 2020)"
The Vermont Community Loan Fund's new Northern Vermont Recovery Loans are open to a variety of businesses including nonprofits located in Vermont's six northernmost counties
From ArtsFwd, these sessions aimed to help leaders and staff in any role make real progress out of disorder and into viable futures, offering frameworks for adaptive practice and examples from practitioners alongside dialogue with peers. These 60-minute weekly sessions began on Tuesday, April 14th, and recordings of all four sessions are available online.
VBSR Webinar: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – socially responsible considerations to keep your business and community safe: Monday March 16, 2020 (Recorded, and available for download)
Originally held on Monday, March 16th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Download the VBSR webinar on socially responsible business considerations (clicking the link will cause the file to begin downloading immediately).
Vimeo’s live production team offers advice on how schools, event coordinators, marketers, and more are evolving their event strategies to optimize engaging live streaming experiences.
With Facebook’s Watch Party feature, you can watch tons of videos and shows with members of groups you’re in on Facebook. This could be helpful for filmmakers or other artists whose screenings had to be cancelled.
COVID-19 Impact on the Arts Survey (Americans from the Arts). All arts and cultural organizations are encouraged to participate. The survey tracks the human and financial impacts of COVID-19 on arts organizations and the challenges with recovery and re-opening.