Nonprofit Zoological Parks and Aquariums May Qualify for Shuttered Venue Operator Grants Under New COVID-19 Relief Bill

On December 22, 2020, the United States Congress passed an omnibus spending bill (the December relief bill) that included significant revisions and additions to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), and previously amended by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPP Flexibility Act). President Trump signed the bill on December 27, 2020.

Duane Morris has published two Alerts on the December relief bill.

Of particular interest to aquariums and zoological parks that operate as nonprofits, the December relief bill includes Shuttered Venue Operator Grants for certain businesses impacted by COVID-19, including live venue operators, entertainment businesses, arts and cultural organizations, “relevant museums” and others that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and related government and industry restrictions.

The definition of “museum” includes aquariums, arboretums, botanical gardens, art museums, children’s museums, general museums, historic houses and sites, history museums, nature centers, natural history and anthropology museums, planetariums, science and technology centers, specialized museums and zoological parks.

Eligibility for the grants depends in part on the entity’s reduction in gross earned revenue over the same quarter in 2019.

For businesses of 300 or fewer employees, there will be an opportunity to receive a second PPP loan, provided that certain other criteria are met. The first Alert, “Second PPP Loans Available for Certain Businesses; Changes to PPP Loan Terms and Conditions,” summarizes the criteria for the “second-draw” loans available for certain businesses.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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