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Grants to California Nonprofits and Businesses to Mitigate
the Financial Impact of COVID-19 on Live Event Venues

California Venues Grant Program

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State of California - CalOSBA

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Grants to California nonprofit organizations and businesses to mitigate the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on live event venues. Funding is intended to support continued operations. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to, payroll, rent, utilities, and costs associated with complying with COVID-19 reopening.

Eligible Uses of Funds

  • Grant moneys awarded under this section shall only be used for costs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and related health and safety restrictions, or business interruptions or closures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the following:
  • Employee expenses, including payroll costs, health care benefits, paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums.
  • Working capital and overhead, including rent, utilities, mortgage principal, and interest payments, but excluding mortgage prepayments, and debt obligations, including principal and interest, incurred before March 1, 2020.
  • Costs associated with reopening business operations after being fully or partially closed due to state-mandated COVID-19 health and safety restrictions and business closures.
  • Costs associated with complying with COVID-19 federal, state, or local guidelines for reopening with required safety protocols, including, but not limited to, equipment, plexiglass barriers, outdoor dining, personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, testing, and employee training expenses.
  • Any other COVID-19-related expenses not already covered through grants, forgivable loans, or other relief through federal, state, county, or city programs.
  • Any other COVID-19-related costs that are not human resource expenses for the state share of Medicaid, employee bonuses, severance pay, taxes, legal settlements, personal expenses, or other expenses unrelated to COVID19 impacts, repairs from damages already covered by insurance, or reimbursement to donors for donated items or services.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 199563

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants awarded under this Program shall be in an amount equal to the lesser of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or 20 percent of the applicant’s gross earned revenue in California for the 2019 taxable year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

“Eligible Venue” means a venue with the following characteristics:

1. A defined performance and audience space.
2. Mixing equipment, a public address system, and a lighting rig.
3. Engages one or more individuals to carry out not less than two of the following roles:
- A sound engineer
- A booker
- A promoter
- A stage manager
- Security personnel
- A box office manager
4. For a venue owned or operated by a nonprofit entity that produces free events, the events are produced and managed primarily by paid employees, not by volunteers.

“Eligible Independent Live Event” means an entity that satisfies all of the following:
1. Is a sole proprietor, C-corporation, S-corporation, cooperative, limited liability company, partnership, limited
partnership, or a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity that satisfies the criteria defined in subparagraphs (B) through (G) inclusive of paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of California Government Code Section 12100.82.
2. Began operating in the state prior to June 1, 2019
3. Is currently active and operating, or has a clear plan to reopen when the state permits reopening of the business
4. Has been impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions, such as business interruptions or
business closures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
5. Provides organizing documents, including a 2019 and 2020 state and federal tax return or Form 990, and a copy of official filing with the Secretary of State or with the local municipality, as applicable, including, but not limited to,
Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Organization, Fictitious Name of Registration, or Government-Issued Business License.
6. Provides an acceptable form of government-issued photo identification.
8. Is in any of the following North American Industry Classification System codes:
• 711211: Sports Teams and Clubs.
• 711310: Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events with Facilities.
• 711320: Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events without Facilities.
• 722410: Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages).
• 722511: Full-Service Restaurants.

For more eligibility information, see the following link:

For a list of ineligible businesses, see the following link:

Pre-Application Information:

Program open 10/29/2021 through 12/07/2021

Application Process
- Eligible independent live event applicants shall complete a new and separate application for the grants allocated under this section even if they already have submitted an application for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program established in California Government Code Section 12100.83.
- If an eligible independent live event has been awarded a grant under the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program established in California Government Code Section 12100.83, the amount of that grant will be subtracted from the grant amount to be awarded under this Program. If the grant amount awarded under the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program is greater than the amount awarded under this Program, the eligible independent live event will not receive a grant under this Program.

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Geographic Focus:

USA: California

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